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There are many factors taken into consideration when a divorcing parent in Ohio seeks child support. However, a factor that’s not on most people’s radar is location. According to a study published by a company that produces a web-based app to help parents with custody agreements, location plays a significant role in child support determination.

Federal guidelines exist for child support determinations. Even so, each state has its own set of rules and calculation methods used to figure out how much a lower-earning spouse with custody should receive. Plus, judges have their own discretion. According to results from the study, payments from one state to another can vary by as much as $700 per month.

Using hypothetical calculations as a guide, the study found that states in the northeastern United States have the highest support payments. Rocky Mountain states, on the other hand, are the lowest. Support payments are also about $100 more in states like Mississippi, North Dakota and Texas where the custodial parent’s income isn’t considered. There are several possible reasons for these discrepancies, including a failure by some states to take into account that more women are working today. Therefore, in states where the mother’s income isn’t considered, fathers have to pay more than they would in states where both incomes are factored in. Also, some states or judges use restraint so that payments don’t become so high that non-custodial parents are discouraged from paying or being involved with their children.

Additionally, child support can be affected by remarriage, custodial children outside the relationship, public assistance, alimony and many other factors. For this reason, custodial parents seeking such payments are often advised to work with a family law lawyer. In some instances, it’s possible for divorcing parents able to remain civil to work out a fair arrangement on their own terms with appropriate guidance from an attorney.