In 2016 in the state of Ohio, there were 35,190 divorces. 15,531 of those divorces involved 27,512 minor children. 

Divorce is never easy, but it’s especially difficult when children are involved. In those cases, it’s the responsibility of the parents to continue providing financial support to their children.

But what is child support? And how have the most recent laws in Ohio affected child support?

Whether you’re suing for child support or avoiding child support, you need to know all the facts. Keep reading to learn the five key things you need to know about child support in Ohio.

What is Child Support?

Paying child support isn’t just based on providing enough financial assistance so your child is clothed and fed properly. Instead, it’s based on a range of expenses such as:

  • Basic necessities
  • Health care
  • Educational fees
  • Transportation
  • Childcare

However, each state has its own set of laws governing how child support works.

2018 Saw New Child Support Laws in Ohio

In 2018 Ohio finally updated theirs. Until then, the laws had remained unchanged since 1992. 

Here’s how the new laws have changed how child support works in Ohio.

1. Child Support Amounts are Income Based

The new 2018 laws are now calculated so the amount you have to pay for child support won’t exceed your income. It also won’t leave you without a decent cushion if you make $14,000 or less per year. 

However, the new minimum monthly child support payment per child is now up from $50 to $80 per month. You can use the Ohio Child Support Calculator to find out how much you’ll owe. 

2. There’s a Child Care Credit Cap

There is now a credit on child care that can’t exceed the maximum statewide average cost estimates provided by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).

If your annual income is subject to the self-sufficiency reserve, your share of child care costs must be either equal to the lower of either:

  • 50% of the cost of child care, or
  • The obligor’s income share of the cost of child care

This ensures you can afford to support your own household after paying child support. 

3. Frequent Overnights Can Reduce Child Support Payments

You can now enjoy a 10% reduction (or more) in child support if you’re paying child support and you have court-ordered parenting time equal to or above 90 overnights each year (25% of the time). 

However, beware of abusing this because if the parent receiving your child support can prove you’re not having 90 or more overnights, this can be eliminated.

4. The Parent with Custody Must Provide Medical Support

If you have primary custody of your child, you must provide medical support coverage. You can avoid this if you can prove that you already have health insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. 

You can also rebut this if you have coverage that’s not reasonable in cost but you wish to continue providing it. 

You can also deduct the cost of your child’s health coverage from your annual income on your taxes.

5. Guidelines are Now Reviewed Once Every 4 Years

At least once every four years ODJFS must review the basic child support table guidelines.

This is to ensure that child support orders can adequately provide for the needs of the children. ODFJS will submit their review to Ohio Legislature. That report may include any recommendations to change current child support laws. 

Contact Us for Help

What is child support? It’s making sure that your children are well cared for even after the family unit breaks up.

If you need help navigating child support payments, we can help. Click here to contact us today.