When You Need More Than Just Emotional Support

Having supportive friends and family and a supportive lawyer are great when going through a divorce. But in the reality of today, we understand that sometimes you need financial support, too. Especially after your life changes, as it does after a divorce.

We can help you secure the spousal and/or child support you need to build your next chapter. Our Cincinnati attorneys are here to help make this accessible and as simple as possible.

Determining Child And Spousal Support

There are several factors that go into determining how much spousal support, or alimony and child support, you can receive after a divorce. Here are some of the things that are considered in each:

  • Child support: The amount of each parent’s financial obligation to their kids is often determined based on combined annual gross income and the number of minor children in the family.
  • Spousal support: There are many factors considered when determining alimony, such as:
    • Income of both parties
    • Earning potential of both parties
    • Age as well as the physical and mental state of both parties
    • Duration of the marriage
    • The level of education of both parties

But these are just a few potential considerations the court could make. Any other factor that is deemed relevant by the court can also be included in consideration.

Both spousal and child support can be essential in maintaining a level of health and happiness for you and your children after a divorce. But getting a reasonable settlement can be challenging. Our attorneys have extensive experience helping families figure this out.

Our primary goal is to help. And we know we can do that by ensuring you get the financial support you need after your divorce.

Answers To Common Child Support Questions

Below, we’ve provided answers to some of the child support questions most frequently asked by prospective clients.

Which parent pays child support in Ohio?

Both parents of a child are required to provide financial support regardless of their relationship status with one another. The parent with primary physical custody (the greater share of time spent with the children) is generally assumed to be contributing directly and therefore won’t need to make payments. The other parent will typically be asked to pay. This is often true even if they are not actively involved in their child’s life.

What factors are considered when determining the amount of child support?

The formula used to calculate child support considers:

  • Each parent’s income, minus any allowable deductions
  • The number of children who require support
  • Each parent’s allotment of custody
  • The total amount of money needed to support the children
  • Health care and educational expenses for the children and which parent is covering them
  • Each parent’s ability to pay

One of the allowable deductions from parental income is whether they are paying child support or spousal support from a previous relationship.

Can the court deviate from the standard child support guidelines? If so, under what circumstances?

Yes, it can. As one example, a judge might decide that child support is not needed if both parents have similar incomes and a similar share of custody. Alternatively, a judge could order a higher child support award if there was a large disparity between household incomes.

Deviations would also be considered in cases where one parent was paying for necessary expenses that are not included in child support calculations, which is discussed in more detail below.

The takeaway is that there are many circumstances that could warrant deviation, which is why human oversight is so important (rather than just relying on the formula).

How is income defined and calculated for child support purposes in Ohio?

The formula looks at each parent’s “gross income.” For calculation purposes, gross income includes basically all sources of work income (wages, salary, tips, bonuses, overtime pay, etc.) as well as financial benefits received from a variety of sources (unemployment, veterans’ benefits, workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability, etc.). Less common sources of income considered include payments from trusts, annuities and pensions.

What happens if a parent’s current income differs significantly from their earning potential?

Situations like this do arise, sometimes due to a parent’s desire to avoid or minimize child support payments. Ohio courts can determine a parent’s earning potential and can consider it “imputed income.” The potential income would then be used (instead of actual income) to calculate child support obligations.

Are both parents required to contribute to child care expenses? Are there limits on this?

Yes, both parents must contribute, and child care costs can be included in the child support formula. Child care needs to be limited to what is necessary to allow a parent to work and attend any job-related training. Child care costs also cannot exceed the maximum average costs in Ohio, calculated by the Department of Job and Family Services.

How are extraordinary expenses, like health care, factored into child support?

If at least one parent has health insurance available through their work, they may be required to include the child or children on their policy. If neither parent has work-sponsored insurance, they may be required to split the costs of a private policy.

Standard or ordinary health care expenses (even with insurance) can be calculated and added to the child support obligations. Each child support order should address how any extraordinary expenses (costs exceeding what has been budgeted) will be paid and by whom.

What kind of legal assistance can I get if I’m having trouble enforcing child support orders?

Orders are primarily enforced by Ohio’s Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). If the obligor (the parent who owes support) consistently fails to make payments, the CSEA can impose enforcement and punishment actions, including wage and benefits garnishment, and suspension of a driver’s license.

Can parents be legally obligated to support their children through college in Ohio?

Courts cannot order one parent to continue supporting their child through college. Under Ohio law, child support obligations generally end with the latter of two events: The child’s 18th birthday or graduation from high school.

A court can only enforce a written agreement made by the two parents to continue providing support. This agreement would typically be made during the divorce process. If you are about to go through divorce and are worried about financing your child’s higher education, it’s important to discuss these concerns with your attorney.

How can I modify an existing child support arrangement if my financial situation or the needs of my child change?

Modifications may be sought by either party if there has been a substantial change in the financial circumstances of either parent or the needs of the children. If three or more years have passed since the order was either issued or previously modified, you can request an administrative review of the agreement.

Outside of an administrative review, you may be able to petition the court to modify the current order with the help of an attorney.

Learn More About Your Options

Contact us today and we can tell you more about the process, and what your options are when pursuing child or spousal support. Use our online contact form or give us a call at 513-813-0627 to set up an appointment with one of our family law attorneys today.