Each parent must take care of their son or daughter financially. Raising a child is expensive, though. It’s common for moms and dads to put up a fight to minimize their child support obligations. Ohio lawmakers have created a formula to aid parents in calculating how much they owe. There may be some wiggle room for moms and dads to negotiate deviations from the norm, though, too.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Office of Child Support (JFS) and family law judges rely on the income share model when calculating how much a parent owes. State officials look to this concept to ensure that a child receives the same level of financial support that they would have expected to receive had their parents not split up.
JFS and judges generally take both a mom and dad’s annual combined gross income and adjust it for various factors when determining support. These include health and child care expenses, the number of and support obligations for any additional children and imputed income (or earnings lost by a parent who didn’t work full-time). Child support enforcement officials and family law judges generally order parents to pay a portion of their yearly gross income to support their child.
There are instances in which judges and JFS may allow for deviations from the formula. They often do so if there’s a significant income disparity between mom and dad (or their households) or a child has special needs.
Child support rules and regulations, much like other statutes, are ever-evolving here in Ohio. An attorney can help you obtain a fair order in your Columbus case, especially given how the court uses a strict formula for initial determinations unless you argue that something else should happen.