Spousal & Child Support

Child Support

Who Must Pay Child Support?

Ohio law requires the legal parents of any child to support him or her. Legal parents include any biological parent (including married parents), an adoptive parent, or an absent father who has acknowledged paternity.  In short – all children are entitled to the support of their parents.

How Is My Income Calculated for Support Purposes?

The Ohio Supreme Court has established guidelines for a determination of child support obligations.   Exceptions to the “guideline” support amount can be made if the court determines the amount is inappropriate and unjust, and the court issues specific findings of fact to support this determination.

All of a parent’s gross earnings are considered in the calculation of child support.  That includes:

  • Wages, salaries, overtime and bonuses;
  • Tips, royalties, commissions, rents, severance pay, rental income, pensions, interest, annuities and trust income;
  • Spousal support received from an individual who is not a party to the support proceeding;
  • Disability insurance benefits, workers’ compensation, unemployment;
  • Social security benefits;
  • Veteran’s benefits; and
  • All other sources of income.

Gross income does not include: welfare (cash) payments; food stamps; SSI; specific service-connected disability payments; child support received for children not born or adopted during the marriage; and specific mandatory wage deductions and unsustainable or nonrecurring income or cash flow.

When Will My Obligation to Pay Child Support End?

Child support generally lasts until the child is at least 18. It can end earlier if a child is emancipated, or gets married. Child support can extend past the age of 18 if a child is still attending high school, or if a child has a mental or physical disability that prevents them from supporting him or herself.

Child support may seem like a straightforward process determined by legal guidelines, but there are a number of special circumstances that can affect support awards. There are also other factors that can complicate the process, such as one spouse quitting a job or if they conceal some or all of their income.  Seeking the right counsel to ensure that your support calculation is correct is key.

Spousal Support

Spousal Support, or “alimony,” can be a major issue during a divorce.  The Ohio Revised Code sets forth the factors that will influence how much spousal support you may have to pay or how much you might expect to receive.  These include:

  • What is each party’s income?
  • What is each party’s earning ability?
  • What are the parties’ ages, and physical, mental or emotional condition(s)?
  • What are the available retirement benefits?
  • What is the length of the marriage?
  • What is the parenting arrangement?
  • What was the standard of living during the marriage?
  • What are the relative education levels of each party?
  • What are the total assets and liabilities of the parties?
  • What have been the contributions of either party to the education, training or earning ability of the other party?
  • What is the time and expense necessary for one spouse to acquire necessary education or training?
  • What are the tax consequences of spousal support?

Engaging a knowledgeable family lawyer will save you potential lost income, and protect your rights during a spousal support determination.

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