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Ohio Court Records

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What is Child Support and When does it Occur in Ohio?

In Ohio, when separation, dissolution, or divorce occurs between a married couple, the issues related to child custody and child support are presided over bythe court. Child custody granted by the law and the court gives the parental responsibilities and rights to a parent or spouse after the dissolution of marriage, divorce, or separation. The various factors to be considered by the courts when deciding the appropriate legal custodian of a child involved in a domestic relations case is governed by the Ohio Revised Code, and the court will be concerned about getting the best for the child. Child support is decided by the Department of Job and Family Services using a child support Ohio Child Support Calculator, which considers the gross income of the parents, absence or presence of daycare fees, and the cost of health insurance for the minor amongst other factors. Shared parenting is also a phenomenon that has recently been allowed in Ohio, which allows both parents to have a say in decisions about the children, although only a parent retains residential rights for the children for school purposes. Enforcement of child support payments is carried out by each county's Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA).

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What is Ohio Child Support?

Child support in Ohio is a progressive financial contribution made by a parent for their child's benefit and care after the end of a marriage or relationship. The child support order is issued by either the local child support enforcement agency or the domestic relations court in the locality. Child support involves payment of a certain amount periodically to the custodial parent who has a show of support and cares for the child or children after their relationship has ended.

What Does Child Support Cover in Ohio?

Child support is meant for a child's essential needs like food, shelter, and clothes. Basic coverage of the child's medical expenses is also included by the court, even though a different order is issued for other medical expenses that might need to be covered. Per Ohio Domestic Relations Children Section 3119.86 and Section 3119.83, expenses like educational costs, uninsured medical expenses, and extracurricular expenses are not included in child support coverage. In Ohio, both parents share the cost of the child support, but the party with a higher earning power carries most of the cost.

What is the Average Child Support Payment in Ohio?

Child support payment is duly calculated with respect to the Ohio Child Support Guidelines and the income of the parents. So depending on the total annual income of both parents and the number of children they have, the percentage annual child support amount is guided by the Ohio child support statute. So because of the differences that exist in the income of parents and also the number of children, an estimated average child support payment cannot be ascertained.

How do I apply for Child Support in Ohio?

Various requirements and steps guide application for child support in Ohio. The first step is obtaining a court order which can be done personally or through an attorney at the Ohio Child Support Office. Although, it is better to use an attorney based on their experience and legal expertise. Paternity of the child must be established before a child support order is issued in the case of single mothers who were not married to the child's father, and the paternity test is carried out by the Office of Child Support Enforcement present in the mother's locality. Establishing a child support order can be carried out in two ways, which are administratively or judicially.

The administrative process of child support is conducted by a hearing officer at the Child support Enforcement Agency, and the child support amount due to either party is calculated using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines. The process is faster and informal because the need for a court hearing is scrapped except one of the parties involved disagrees with the decision reached by the hearing officer. For those that prefer the judicial process, the divorced couples are scheduled for a hearing presided on by a magistrate or judge who decides the child support amount. This process generally takes longer as the hearing might not be scheduled for six months or more after the application has been submitted. The court also retains the power to decide on amounts as per the Ohio Child Support Guidelines.

The child's medical insurance is one of the most important issues to be addressed by a child support order, and the parents are expected to have evidence of their income (pay stubs or tax returns), health insurance details, and other documents found on the hearing's list. Some of the required documents to process a child support order include;

  • Valid identification (driver's license or passport)
  • Birth certificate of child or children
  • Custody orders
  • Divorce decree and marriage certificate and where applicable.
  • Paternity test results

The filing fee for child support orders through the Ohio Child Support Office costs $25, although those who currently receive Medicaid or Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families do not get charged this fee.

How do I Get Out of Paying Child Support in Ohio?

For children born during marriages, the husband is thought to be the biological father of the child, and if the child's paternity is not questioned before the marriage is dissolved or during divorce trials, then court-ordered child support cannot be contested. However, there is a provision for modification of the child support order, and it involves requesting an administrative review from the local child support enforcement agency or court. The review is based solely on the party's financial state. Modification review is only allowed 36 months after the initial order, although there are few exceptions. The parents are contacted within 15 days if the request is approved and the necessary information is to be submitted within 45 days, even though the review might take months before it is concluded.

Some of the few exceptions to when the request for modification can be made before it is 36 months according to Chapter 3119.71 include when the party is;

  • Laid off from work and currently unemployed
  • On active military duty
  • Permanently disabled
  • Jailed or in rehabilitation with no income for the child support.

What is Back Child Support in Ohio?

Back child support is the missed payments, which are a violation of their legal obligations and court order. The non-custodial parent who does not make the support payments as at when due, can be held in contempt of court, which is punishable by fines and/or jail time.

How do I Get Back Child Support Paid in Ohio?

In the event of back child support, the custodial parent can file a motion in court asking the judge to order the other party to be in court and explain why the periodic payments have been missed. If found in contempt of court, the party will be fined and may also be jailed, and the sentence depends on the circumstance of that particular case and the judge's discretion. The sentence serves as an encouragement to pay the arrearage. An alternative is reporting the non-custodial parent to the child support enforcement agency, which then uses one of their numerous methods to ensure compliance with the support order per the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3123. The methods include;

  • Withholding Order: The Child Support Enforcement Agency can seize the non-custodial parent's income or wages.
  • The income tax refunds can be intercepted and used to cover part of the arrearage.
  • The non-custodial parent can be ordered to seek employment through a court order and report back to the court on the job-seeking.
  • The driver's license or state ID card can be suspended to ensure compliance with the child support order.
  • Financial accounts can also be accessed by the child support enforcement agency to pay the child support fees.

Is there a Ohio Statute of Limitation on Child Support?

From all the various conditions and sections under the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 3123, there is no statute of limitations with regards to child support payment, and all the arrearages must be paid.

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