Whether you are dissolving a marriage or simply separating from a partner with whom you share a child or children, an experienced and reputable family law attorney in Cincinnati can assist you with issues related to child support. You don’t want to be left facing financial hardship until your support payments begin. Zachary D. Smith, LLC is here to help you with child support issues, including securing an initial order of support.
What Factors Determine Child Support Amounts?
If you are entitled to child support, there are set guidelines under Ohio law that determines the amount of money you should receive to provide for your children.
The non-custodial parent will have to pay court-ordered support for the care of children, with the appropriate support amount determined by factors including:
- The number of children being supported.
- The amount of time the child spends under the care of each parent.
- The income of each parent and the family’s combined income.
- Other essential financial obligations, including existing support orders and amounts paid for mandatory deductions from wages, such as union dues.
- Special needs of the child /children, including high costs of specialized care.
Generally, you will not be able to deviate from these guidelines without substantial grounds to modify the standard rules.
Because of the deference given to Ohio’s standard child support guidelines, the state may not permit any agreements you and your spouse make that allow for a different support amount than the guidelines dictated. For example, a waiver of child support in a prenuptial agreement or a negotiated agreement on support may not be upheld, even if both mother and father wish to adhere to the agreement.
Understanding Ohio Child Support Guidelines
To determine the amount of support due, parents must understand how the state of Ohio determines what metrics matter when using the standard support formula. Parents must understand, for example, what counts as income, which can include both W2 salaried income as well as income from rental properties and entrepreneurial activities.
Ohio Revised Code section 3119.01 explains some of the basic terms that are important when it comes to the calculation of support. Even with a careful reading of the statute, however, it can be difficult to determine exactly how much support will be required under these guidelines.
Support may be required even if a parent does not see the child, and even in circumstances where the paying parent has never been involved in the child’s life at all. As long as a mother or father’s parental rights have not been terminated, that parent is obliged to contribute financially to a child or children’s upbringing.