If a couple seeking an Ohio divorce has children, then one parent will likely need to pay child support to the other parent during and after the divorce. The purpose of child support is to split the expenses of caring for the child and maintain their standard of living with both parents. However, many parents have questions about how child support is calculated, and the process can be complicated. At Fout Law, our team of highly qualified legal professionals is here to help you with your child support needs during this difficult time. Call the office or contact us today to learn more.
Typically, the noncustodial parent pays the custodial parent child support. This usually means that whichever parent the child spends less physical time with will pay the other parent support. If parents spend an equal amount of time with their child, one parent may still pay the other parent child support if one parent is covering a larger part of the child’s expenses. Child support typically lasts until the child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever comes later.
There are many steps that go into calculating child support. First, the parents must determine their combined monthly gross income. This includes all taxable earnings for both parents, including wages, salary, unemployment benefits, Social Security benefits, and other income. The next step is to use the combined monthly income to determine the basic child support obligation using an Ohio support calculation chart. Then, each parent determines their percentage of the child support obligation based on their monthly income. This is accomplished by dividing each parent’s monthly gross income by the combined amount and multiplying that percentage by the child support obligation. The noncustodial parent then owes that amount to the custodial parent each month.
There are exceptions and deviations that may be applied to the basic calculation of child support. For example, if a noncustodial parent spends at least 90 or more overnights with their child, they are eligible for a 10% deduction in their support obligation. The court may also deviate from the basic support guidelines for special circumstances. For example, if a parent lives below the poverty line, the judge may adjust their obligation, or if the combined gross monthly income is above $388,000 the judge may deviate in the opposite direction.
In addition, if one parent is willingly choosing to be unemployed or underemployed in an attempt to avoid paying support, the court can determine what their child support obligation should be using a number of factors. Education level, employment history, average area wages, and more can all be used to determine what a parent’s child support obligation should be in that situation.
If you would like to speak with an experienced Canton child support lawyer, call or contact Fout Law today to schedule a case consultation.