Child support in Ohio is established by statute. While the process of determining the amount of support is complex, the basic principle is this; the combined incomes of the parents, now separated legally, is plugged into an income schedule created by the State which then provides the amount of child support for each child which is the result of the prior union of the parents. Then, the ratio each contributed to that total income amount is determined for each parent, i.e. the percentage each parent contributes to the total combined income amount. That ratio determines the amount of support. If particular circumstances of the case warrant, a deviation from the statutory amount determined above may be sought. Deviations are also regulated by statute, and are based upon financial considerations of the parties and child and the needs of the child. These justifications must be submitted to the court for approval.
What do I need to show that a child support modifcation is needed?
Child support may be modified as the circumstances of the parties change over time. When this occurs, either party may petition the court for a modification of an existing support order to reflect the change of circumstances. A change of circumstances may be submitted to the court when the recalculated actual support obligation varies 10% or more from the existing support obligation. Generally, the modification is effective from the date of filing the petition.
What forms do I need to file with the court to start the process?
You will be required to complete an affidavit of financial disclosure detailing your financial situation for the court. An affidavit of child custody and several other forms need to be completed and filed with the court. These will be used to assist in determining the amount of child support. These forms must be completed carefully and completely, supported by any documentation available, such as pay check stubs or financial statements from your employer reflecting your current income, and that of the other parent. Your attorney may discover the income of the other parent through legal means if necessary. A hearing will be held before the court where each side may present evidence either supporting or opposing a change in the existing court ordered amount. The court will decide whether to change the existing support amount and establish a new one.
What are the possible consequences of failure to pay child support in Ohio?
Failure to pay child support in violation of a court order may have adverse consequences, including involvement by the county child support enforcement agency, interception of tax refunds, contempt of court, interest on the support arrearage accumulated, and the costs of post divorce decree litigation. In extreme cases you may lose your freedom.
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