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Factors The Court Considers in Granting Child Support Deviations

Courts and attorneys use child support calculation programs that base an individual’s child support on a set formula contained in the Ohio Revised Code. The use of this program/formula results in an amount of child support that is presumed to be the amount an Obligor should pay in child support to the Obligee. The Court, however, has the discretion to deviate from the formula if it finds that the amount resulting from the calculation should be other than the amount calculated. The factors the court may consider are contained in O.R.C 3119.23.

Notice that many of the factors are very specific such as the court may consider other court-ordered payments. Other factors, however, are general in nature such as the "any other relevant factor" provision. Thus, Courts have great latitude in deviating or changing the presumed amount of child support to be paid by an Obligor.

3119.23 Factors to be considered in granting a deviation.

The court may consider any of the following factors in determining whether to grant a deviation pursuant to section 3119.22 of the Revised Code:

(A) Special and unusual needs of the children;

(B) Extraordinary obligations for minor children or obligations for handicapped children who are not stepchildren and who are not offspring from the marriage or relationship that is the basis of the immediate child support determination;

(C) Other court-ordered payments;

(D) Extended parenting time or extraordinary costs associated with parenting time, provided that this division does not authorize and shall not be construed as authorizing any deviation from the schedule and the applicable worksheet, through the line establishing the actual annual obligation, or any escrowing, impoundment, or withholding of child support because of a denial of or interference with a right of parenting time granted by court order;

(E) The obligor obtaining additional employment after a child support order is issued in order to support a second family;

(F) The financial resources and the earning ability of the child;

(G) Disparity in income between parties or households;

(H) Benefits that either parent receives from remarriage or sharing living expenses with another person;

(I) The amount of federal, state, and local taxes actually paid or estimated to be paid by a parent or both of the parents;

(J) Significant in-kind contributions from a parent, including, but not limited to, direct payment for lessons, sports equipment, schooling, or clothing;

(K) The relative financial resources, other assets and resources, and needs of each parent;

(L) The standard of living and circumstances of each parent and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage continued or had the parents been married;

(M) The physical and emotional condition and needs of the child;

(N) The need and capacity of the child for an education and the educational opportunities that would have been available to the child had the circumstances requiring a court order for support not arisen;

(O) The responsibility of each parent for the support of others;

(P) Any other relevant factor.

The court may accept an agreement of the parents that assigns a monetary value to any of the factors and criteria listed in this section that are applicable to their situation.

If the court grants a deviation based on division (P) of this section, it shall specifically state in the order the facts that are the basis for the deviation.

Additional resources provided by the author

Ohio Revised Code, Section 3119.23 and 3119.22

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