How does child support work in Ohio?

Knowing the ins and outs of child support can help parents get their kids to succeed after a divorce.

A divorce can be a tough time for everyone in an Ohio family, especially when there are children involved. For those who end up as guardians of a child, the question may arise as to how to pay for the child's necessities and give them as good a life as they had when both parents were married. To help with these things, there are state institutions such as the Child Support Enforcement Agency that can facilitate setting up regular payments of child support. Knowing how to get this money and what some of the rules are can help parents get through this stage in the divorce process.

What is the value of child support?

A child support order is modified depending on each child's specific needs. The Child Support Enforcement Agency can even conduct tests to determine who a child's father is. Things like dental expenses, medical costs, clothing, transportation, child care, shelter, and food can all add up to cost quite a lot when there is a child involved. Over one million children are able to be provided the resources for successful lives thanks to Ohio's child support program, a number equal to about one in three.

How is child support established?

There are a couple primary bits of information used by the Child Support Enforcement Agency to determine the amount of support payed by either parent. Recent parental tax returns may be used, as well as some form of verification of where each parent has worked for the most recent six-month period. While the CSEA can establish a support order without using the court system, sometimes it will be necessary to get an order through the courts.

How is child support enforced?

If a person is unable to pay the child support that is expected of them, the CSEA may take action, including filing the case with the courts, where a negligent payer can be held in contempt of court. There are other ways the CSEA will usually attempt to extract the funds before going to court. An unemployed parent can be ordered to seek work, or an employed parent can have a portion of their income withheld and used for the payments. Past-due payments can also be offset from someone's tax returns.

How to get the right order?

When it comes to determining the value of different qualifications, what plan of enforcement to go about, and which forms to sign and processes to go through, the Ohio CSEA tries to make things easy for people, but those who want a personal touch and an experienced eye may find it more helpful to talk to an attorney in their area who practices family law.