Why Should I Hire Baker & Wick, LLC to Represent me with my Child Support Matter?

When parents divorce or separate, there are many emotional and financial issues that need resolved. One of the primary issues is child support. Regardless of which parent is the legal custodian of the children, both parents have a legal and moral obligation to financially support their children. Child support is often one of the most difficult subjects for people to decide as there is such significant financial and emotional importance placed on the subject. By understanding how child support orders are determined and enforced, a person can reduce his or her emotional response to the matter.

Whether a person is interested in obtaining a child support order, modifying an order or enforcing an order, the legal aspects of the child support process can be complex and difficult to complete. The law firm of Baker & Wick has the necessary experience and expertise to help a person with any child support issue. The lawyers at Baker & Wick will provide prompt and professional service to help simplify the child support process so that the parent can receive fair treatment in court.

How is child support calculated in Columbus, Ohio?

Each state has its own laws regarding how child support is calculated, collected and disbursed.  In the State of Ohio, child support is calculated using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines, which is based upon several factors. The primary factors taken into consideration when calculating child support are: the income of both parents; the number of dependents that each parent has; the cost of healthcare insurance coverage for the children; and work-related daycare costs for the children.  Other factors such as the local tax rate are also considered.  These factors are used to determine the presumed amount of child support pursuant to the Oho Child Support Worksheet.

Once the presumed amount is determined, the parents may deviate from the amount, either to an amount greater or less than the presumed amount.  If the parents cannot agree on a deviation amount, one or both of the parents can ask the court to determine if and how much of a deviation is warranted.  Ohio courts are guided by the statutory factors found in the Ohio Revised Code Section 3119.23 in determining whether and how much deviation is warranted.

One exception to the way child support is calculated is when parents make a combined income of $150,000 or more.  In these cases, the court will look to the standard of living and needs of the children to determine an appropriate amount.  The amount in these cases is up to the court’s discretion, but the court will still consider all relevant factors, including the factors in the Ohio Revised Code Section 3119.23, in determining the appropriate amount of child support.

In addition to child support, courts may order the parties to divide any uncovered medical expenses, extracurricular activities and school fees.  The court will determine an equitable division of these expenses based on the parents’ incomes, any child support paid and the particular circumstances of the case.  Childcare can be included in the child support amount to be paid or it can be divided by a percentage between the parents outside of child support as well.

How long does child support last in Ohio?

In most cases, child support orders stay in effect until the child turns 18, or until the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs last.  For example, if a child turns 18 in February but graduates high school in June, child support would terminate in June.  On the other hand, if a child graduates high school in June but doesn’t turn 18 until August, child support would terminate in August.

There are certain situations where child support can continue past these dates.  However, a child support order cannot remain in effect after a child reaches nineteen years of age unless the child is mentally or physically disabled and is incapable of supporting or maintaining himself or herself or where the parents have agreed to continue support beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday pursuant to an agreed court order.

When can a child support order be modified?

Child support orders can be modified whenever the parents agree, or when there is a substantial change in either parents’ or the child(ren)’s circumstances.  Most often, a parent may request a modification of the child support order when one or both parents make substantially more or less than he or she did at the time the current child support order was entered.  Other examples of changes in circumstances that may warrant a modification of child support include increased out-of-pocket expenses for the child and a change in parenting time.  In any event, a motion to modify child support must be filed in order for the court to change the child support order.  A parent’s County Child Support Enforcement Agency may also be able to conduct a review hearing for a parent to determine whether a modification is warranted.