In Ohio, usually, the non-residential parent, or the parent with the largest income, will need to pay child support to the other. Both parents have a legal obligation to contribute financially to the upbringing of their children.
There are numerous factors used to determine the amount of child support owed, such as how much time the child spends with each parent, how much each parent earns, and the needs of the child.
Financial security is often one of the most concerning issues for mothers when leaving their marriage. A court-issued child support order is legally binding, and so it is essential that it reflects your needs and those of your children.
Woodford Sathappan McGee solely represents women in family law matters. Our narrow focus gives us a unique ability to better support our clients.
Contact Woodford Sathappan McGee law office today for a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney at 380-212-3731.
Woodford Sathappan McGee was started to help guide women through divorce and other family law issues so that they can feel secure and confident about their future. We empower women with knowledge of their rights and guide them through the entire process.
As skilled mediators, we can help you and the other parent to communicate effectively and move your case forward. Where this is not possible, we will advocate vigorously on your behalf in court.
To understand child support obligations, it is first necessary to understand child custody laws. In Ohio, both parents are legally required to financially contribute to the upbringing of their children. However, unlike other states where traditional terms such as sole and joint custody are still used, Ohio awards ‘parental rights and responsibilities’.
Parental rights, also known as legal custody, are the right to make important decisions in the child’s life, such as where they go to school, if they attend church, and what medical care they receive. Unless there is clear evidence that one parent has a negative impact on the child’s wellbeing, both parents will share legal custody.
Parental responsibilities, also known as physical custody, refer to where the child lives and how much time they spend with each parent. Parental responsibilities are usually shared unless there is a reason why this would not be in the child’s best interests.
Although the fairest arrangement might seem like a 50/50 split, this is often impractical and creates too much disruption for the child. Usually, one parent will be the residential parent, who lives in the child’s main residence, while the other has visitation rights. A typical visitation schedule might be every other weekend and one weekday evening each week.
In Ohio, biological or adoptive parents must provide financial support for their children, including the cost of medical care. Usually, the residential parent will receive child support from the other parent, as they will spend the majority of the time with the child. However, if the residential parent earns significantly more, then they may not receive any child support.
The financial obligation of child support is calculated using the Ohio Revised Code 3119.022 by using a child support worksheet and formula. Child support is calculated using factors such as:
There are a lot of factors involved in determining child support, and it is essential that the decision accurately represents your child’s needs. An experienced child support attorney can help you determine how much you are owed and will fight for a just outcome in your case. In a free consultation, we can guide you on your next steps.
Child support is designed to cover the basic necessities of the child. However, child support orders can be personalized to cover things that are needed based on a family’s specific situation, such as child care and medical expenses.
Food, shelter, electricity, clean water, food, toys, transportation, and more can all be contributed to by child support.
One parent should provide health insurance for the child. If one parent receives it with their job, then even if they are not the residential parent, they might be ordered to cover it. If neither parent receives it through their job, then the judge might order the cost of private healthcare to be provided, or low-income children could qualify for Medicaid.
Even with health insurance, there are often out-of-pocket expenses such as dental and optic care. In Ohio, child support orders don’t directly cover medical support, but the fund can be used to pay for expenses.
If there are uncovered expenses, referred to as ‘extraordinary medical expenses,’ then the child support order may place obligations on each parent to pay them. For example, the parent who earns the most may be ordered to pay 85% of all extraordinary medical expenses.
The residential parent might work and will need to pay for child care. This is not included in the basic child support obligation, but can be covered by a child support order.
Child support payments do not disappear if they are not paid; missed payments go into arrears and are subject to interest. In Ohio, child support payments are a legal obligation. And failure to make payments for an extended period of time is taken seriously. Penalties include:
If a parent fails to make payments for 26 weeks over a span of two years, they could be charged with a felony of criminal non-support, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and hefty fines. The first contempt filing is punishable by up to 30 days in jail but can usually be avoided with a substantial child support payment.
If your ex-spouse continually fails to make child support payments, it is important that you do not try to solve matters on your own. If, for example, you refuse visitation with your child because of missed payments, then you too could be held guilty of contempt. It is important that you continue to follow court orders and seek help from a Blue Ash child custody attorney who can help you seek what you are owed.
Although a child support order is legally binding, it is possible to seek an order for modification with the court. However, you will need to prove that there has been a ‘substantial change in circumstances’.
Justifications for a change in a child support order could include changing needs of your child, lost employment, change in health and childcare costs, increase or decrease in income, repeated missed visitation, or relocation.
Obligated child support usually needs to be paid until the child turns 18. However, there are circumstances where child support must be paid for longer, including:
When you and your ex-spouse disagree on family law matters, such as child support, you will need an attorney who can fight for your rights and protect your child’s best interest. Choosing the right representation can save you time and money and ultimately ensures that you and your child can continue to maintain the same standard of living even after separation.
Qualities to look for in a good Blue Ash child support lawyer include:
The best family law attorneys are also trained mediators. They will sit together with you and your ex-spouse and help you come to amicable agreements using a collaborative law process. This saves time and money on court proceedings.
However, where this is not possible, your attorney must also have the skills to litigate for you in the courtroom. If your attorney does not have courtroom experience, but your partner’s attorney does, then it could leave you vulnerable.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, all of our attorneys are highly skilled in both mediation and litigation, which means that we can handle even the most complex cases.
A child support case could be impacted by both state and federal law. It is good to find a local law firm that understands Ohio state law. A local attorney may even have experience with the Judge overseeing your case and can tailor their approach. Woodford Sathappan McGee is entirely dedicated to family law for women.
Many people fail to realize the importance of actually liking your attorney. Family law issues are highly personal, and you need to be able to speak openly and without judgment. Many law firms offer free consultations, which can be a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have and decide whether you like them.
Although an experienced family law attorney will have a full caseload, it is important that they make time for your case. They should be willing to guide you through the process and keep you informed. While they won’t be available 24/7, they should also be prompt to answer your questions, and you should feel supported.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we are committed to the attorney-client relationship. We want to empower women with knowledge of their rights and will support them from start to finish.
In your free consultation, you will have an opportunity to ask questions so that you can decide if the law firm you are speaking to is a good fit for your case. Some potential questions you may like to ask include:
The minimum amount of child support in Ohio is $80 per month. However, the court may also order a payment under $80 per month in certain circumstances, such as if the non-residential parent has a mental or physical disability.
If your ex-spouse misses child support payments, then you should contact a child support attorney. They will help you file contempt proceedings with the court.
The cost of a family law attorney will depend on the specific details of your case. At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we offer a free consultation so you can find out what we can do for you and how much your case is likely to cost before you agree to representation.
If you are a woman in need of help with a family law matter in Ohio, then look no further. We can guide you through even the most complex child support and child custody cases.
Woodford Sathappan McGee offers a comprehensive approach and has successfully represented hundreds of women in family law cases. Using an in-depth understanding of the law, a large pool of resources, and a commitment to women, we can help you at every stage of the process, including post-divorce issues such as child support modification or missed child support payments.
Our practice areas cover Cincinnati, Blue Ash, Hamilton County, and surrounding areas, so whether you need a Blue Ash or a Cincinnati family law lawyer, we are here to help.
Contact our family law practice today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation.