Without representation, child support can be a difficult issue to understand for both the payor and person receiving support. Effective in March 2019, the Ohio Legislature has revised the child support calculation factors for the first time in approximately 30 years. Child support orders are subject to modification through the emancipation of your children, or until they turn 19 years of age, if they remain in a state accredited high school. If you are contemplating a review of an existing order or seeking a new order, you must familiarize yourself with the relevant factors that the court must consider.
Prior to the recent revisions to the child support statutes in Ohio, there were no legislative guidelines dictating the percentage for the court to use when deviating from the child support calculation. For example, the new support formula adds a 10% parenting time adjustment (deviation downward) for all standard parenting time orders when the parenting time exceeds 90 overnights per year. If the parenting time exceeds 147 nights per year the court shall consider a substantial deviation and must issue findings and recommendations if the court chooses not to allow a deviation. However, the law does not mandate deviation.
There are several other new child support deviation factors. The court may now consider the extraordinary work-related expense incurred by either parent. Post-secondary educational expenses paid for by a parent or the parent’s own child or children regardless of whether the child or children are emancipated. The extraordinary childcare costs required for the child or children that exceed the maximum statewide average cost estimated by ODJFS. The new bill provides that the annual amount of any court-order spousal support that is actually paid, excluding any ordered payment on the arrears, must be deducted from the parent’s annual income the extent the payment is verified by supporting documentation
Discovery in a child support case is also a very important factor. During the litigation of a support case, each party will have the opportunity to seek information from the other party regarding their income from all sources, cost of health insurance, cost of childcare, and their estimated monthly expenses. You may obtain this information through formal written requests made under oath to the other party, by deposition (sworn testimony before a court reporter) or with the power of subpoena issued directly to the employer, financial institution or other private entity.
It is important not to underestimate the impact that an experienced family law attorney may have on the outcome of your child support order. Please contact Berry & Karl, LLC for a more detailed discussion if you have a child or spousal support case.