Ohio residents with children facing a divorce or separation may rightfully be concerned about the amount of child support they may be required to pay. Child support is largely determined by each parent’s income and custody schedule. However, in 2019, the Ohio legislature enacted House Bill 366, which included changes to Ohio’s child support law that every parent with a child support obligation should be aware of.
Calculating child support
Child support is calculated by the Ohio Department of Job of Family Services under a basic child support schedule. Under the new bill, when the combined annual income of both parents exceeds the maximum annual income in the basic child support schedule, the court has the discretion to modify the amounts on an individual basis, by analyzing the specific factors involved in each case.
Parents who have a spousal support obligation may benefit from the new bill. Any spousal support obligation may now be deducted from a parent’s annual income for purposes of calculating child support. This prevents a parent from potentially facing a substantial child support obligation on top of a significant spousal support payment.
There are several new factors that an Ohio court may consider when determining the exact amount of a child support payment. These include any extraordinary work-related expenses incurred by a parent, such as travel or business-related costs, as well as any post-secondary education expenses paid for by a parent. The education expenses may be considered even for an emancipated child pursuing a post-secondary education.
Parenting time according to a custody schedule may affect a child support payment, as well. The law now requires a court to reduce a child support payment by 10% when a parenting time order gives one parent 90 or more overnights per year. General childcare costs must be shared by both parents, but a child support payment amount may also be adjusted if either parent incurs any extraordinary costs during their parenting time.
As any Ohio parents who wants the best for their children knows, parenting can be costly. It is important to keep up with changes in child support law to ensure you are not overpaying for child support, while still being able to provide a comfortable standard of living for your children.