Child Support

Child support is enforced by every county in Ohio, as every county is required by law to have a child support enforcement agency. It can be an agreed to amount of support by the parents themselves, as long as it is in the best interest of the children.  The reason for the agreed amount is clearly stated in the order and a fully completed child support worksheet is attached to the order as an Exhibit. It can also be implemented by court order if necessary.  There is some confusion among the public about who has to pay it, and how the amount of support is calculated.

The mother or the father of the child may have to pay child support per Ohio law.  Ohio Revised Code Section 3119 covers the administration of child support.  Nowhere in the statute does it say that the father or the mother should always have to pay support—the calculation and administration is based solely on numerical factors, unless there is exceptional circumstances which require deviation from the general calculation.

In fact, Ohio law uses raw gross income comparison of the parents to calculate which parent pays the other, and how much.  Certain other factors can go into consideration other than the raw numbers, such as a requirement for cash medical assistance of one party, or excessive expense of travel for parenting time exchanges.  There can also be a “deviation” from the general child support calculation table, should there be one of three conditions present, such as “change in circumstance.”

The statute governing child support calculation tries to achieve fairness and even-handedness across the state.  It contemplates that the child or children will enjoy the same standard of living as if their mother and father still lived in the same household together.  It takes much of the decision out of the hands of the judge, and puts it into black letter law.

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