How is child support determined?
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Ohio law requires that child support be calculated under child support guidelines. The law sets basic support schedules that must be used to determine the amount of child support, based on the number of children and the combined gross income of the parents, as well as other factors and/or credits. The support schedules are based on the average cost of raising children in households across a wide range of incomes.
To determine the appropriate amount of child support, the court calculates each parent’s gross income and combines them. The total is then used to locate the child support amount on the basic chart. Any spousal support paid is added to the income of the recipient and deducted from the income of the payor to arrive at gross income. Costs of medical insurance and necessary child care are factored in, and the resulting child support obligation is divided according to the percentages of each party’s income to their total combined annual income.
The amount of child support determined by these calculations is presumed appropriate. The court has discretion to deviate from the basic support tables when the calculated child support is inequitable and not in the child’s best interest. The court also issues orders for healthcare insurance and payment of uninsured healthcare expenses for the children. Child support must be paid through Ohio Child Support Payment Central, usually by means of wage withholding. See the Ohio State Bar Association LawFacts pamphlet titled, “What You should Know about…Child Support” for more information.