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What are the basics of child support in Ohio?

Parents of children in Ohio must help provide for their children, which includes providing them with health insurance and general care. The financial support of children post-divorce is known as child support. Ohio statute largely controls the issue of child support, with the primary statute being Ohio Revised Code section 3109.04-05.

A parent’s gross income (less a few exclusions) helps dictate the support payment required. The support payment is set forth in schedules established by Ohio law and they schedules can apply so long as the income levels are over a minimum (currently $6,600) and under a maximum (currently $150,000). Income levels outside this scale permit substantial deviations.

Parents that are underemployed or unemployed will have their gross income set by the income that the court finds they are capable of earning. Therefore, parents who quit their jobs to avoid child support will only find themselves in more dire financial straits, as the support payments continue to come due and their own paychecks become smaller.

The above being said, sometimes jobs are lost and income cannot reasonably be replaced. In those circumstances, and others, parents can seek court modification of child support orders after the divorce is complete. That way, parents acting in good faith will not be punished simply because the economy stumbles. However, you should act promptly if you find yourself in this position – because you are responsible for your child support payment until an order from the court changes it.

Some assume that if they reach a shared parenting agreement, that they will not be required to pay child support – this is not true. Although, the facts of your specific case will largely dictate the amount of child support.

Child support normally terminates when the child reaches 18, but can be extended if the child is still in high school after the age of 18 and when the child is disabled.