Calculation of Child Support
In Ohio, child support orders are set according to specific statutory guidelines based on the combined gross incomes of the parents and number of children to be supported. It is calculated according to a worksheet adopted by the Legislature.
All courts are required to use the statutory guidelines and worksheet for calculating child support orders and the amount of child support calculated using the worksheet is presumed to be the correct amount.
The parent ordered to receive child support is known as the Obligee and the parent ordered to pay child support is known as the Obligor.
Child support obligations are set at a specific amount to be paid each month by the Obligor.
Deviation from Guidelines Child Support
Either or both parents may believe the guidelines amount of child support is too high or too low. In such a case, a parent may seek what is called a deviation.
The parent seeking to deviate from the guidelines child support amount has the burden to prove to the court the guidelines amount of child support is unjust or inappropriate and, therefore, not in the best interests of the child or children.
The reasons a court may deviate from the guidelines amount of child support are listed in O.R.C. 3119.23. The decision to grant a deviation rests solely within the court’s discretion and depends on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.
Only the court, not the CSEA, may grant a deviation from the child support guidelines.
All child support orders must include provisions for medical insurance coverage for the child/children.
One or both parents may be required to purchase private health insurance coverage for the child/children if:
- It is available at reasonable cost. Insurance is considered available at a reasonable cost if the extra cost of insuring the child/children does not exceed 5% of that parent’s gross income for child support purposes. (O.R.C. 3119.29(A)(8)).
- It is accessible to the child. Accessible means health insurance coverage that provides primary care services within thirty miles of the residence of the child. (O.R.C. 3119.29(A)(4)).
Publicly funded health insurance such as CareSource or Molina does NOT constitute private health insurance.
If there is no private medical insurance available at a reasonable cost, the Obligor will be ordered to pay, in addition to the monthly child support amount, an additional monthly amount known as Cash Medical Support. If the children are covered by publicly funded health insurance the cash medical support payments may be assigned to the State.
Child support orders must also include provisions for payment of the child/children’s medical expenses not otherwise paid for by insurance. Typically this takes the form of an order that each parent pay a certain percentage of any such expenses.
Dependent Tax Deductions
All court court-issued child support orders must include provisions awarding the right to claim the child/children as dependents for income tax purposes.
The parents may agree on which parent is to claim the deduction; however, absent agreement there is a rebuttable presumption that the parent with whom the children primarily reside is the parent entitled to claim the deduction.
DISCLAIMER: THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. It is a general overview for informational purposes only regarding procedure. YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FOR LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING ISSUES SPECIFIC TO YOUR CASE.