Basic Info About Child Support 

Child support is the financial contribution one parent makes to another for the support of their children and can be established or ordered by a child support agency (CSEA) or a court having jurisdiction over children’s issues.

In general, the “non-residential” parent pays child support to the “residential” parent (the “residential parent” is the one with whom the child lives most of the time). 

In shared parenting plans, the guideline amount of support may be reduced according to the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s home or other factors in the child’s best interest, but a deviation from the worksheet amount is always within the court’s discretion.  A child support agency cannot deviate from the worksheet amount.

Calculation Method

Child support is calculated according to a formula according to Ohio statutes.  It starts with combining gross income from both parents, including all kinds of income, whether taxable or not.  Then, each parent is allowed certain deductions, including local income tax actually paid, any child or spousal support actually paid, for supporting the parent’s other child (in the same household not including the dependent(s) for whom child support has been ordered), less child support received for the child.

The combined income is applied to a chart, also in the statute, to obtain the combined child support obligation for both parents together.  Then, the calculation divides the total to determine what percentage each parent is bringing to the combined total income, and these percentages are then applied to the combined support amount.  Added to this amount, and subtracted from this amount, are the yearly figures for childcare expenses (less tax credit), the marginal cost for health insurance, and other additions and deductions.

The court will typically order one or both parents to carry healthcare insurance, if available at reasonable cost.  If no affordable coverage is available, a “cash medical” child support amount is also computed.

Termination of Child Support

Child support is payable until the child reaches the age of 18, or until he or she graduates from high school, whichever is later but not longer than age 19.  If, however, a child is no longer attending an accredited high school (or state-approved equivalent) and is not living with or dependent upon a parent (i.e. is married or otherwise “emancipated”), then child support may end before age 18.  

Special rules apply to special needs, handicapped and developmentally disabled children who will not be expected to be self-sufficient by the age of 18.  If a child is a special needs person, child support can be ordered to be paid well beyond the child’s 18th birthday, and the duration of the support order will depend upon the child’s capacity for independence. 

The court’s jurisdiction to order child support ends at age 18, (with the exception of special needs children and those still in high school after age 18). 

THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF CHILD SUPPORT AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES.  IT IS ONLY INTENDED TO ASSIST YOU IN UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS. 

IF YOU SHOULD HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE OFFICE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT – 330-996-4099.