Understanding How Child Custody & Support Work in Ohio

When parents separate or divorce, two important issues need to be resolved: who will take care of the children and how much financial support the children will receive. These issues are known as child custody and child support.

In Ohio, both parents are expected to provide for their children, even if they are separated. Understanding the relationship between child custody and child support is crucial, as one often affects the other.

Overview of Child Custody in Ohio

Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities parents have for their children. In Ohio, there are different types of custody:

  • Residential Custody: This refers to where the child lives on a day-to-day basis.
  • Legal Custody: This refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s life, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.
  • Sole Custody: One parent has residential and legal custody of the child.
  • Joint Custody: Both parents share residential and/or legal custody of the child.

When deciding on custody, the court considers what is in the best interest of the child. Factors include:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent.
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child.
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved.

Do You Have to Pay Child Support with 50/50 Custody in Ohio?

Read Video Transcript  

In Ohio, 50/50 custody is generally a shared parenting concept. Child support is a responsibility of each parent, whether you have 50/50 time or the classic standard order of parenting time. 50/50 parenting time does not automatically mean that there is not a child support obligation. Generally, a worksheet is completed which shows the income of each party, the health insurance expenses, the daycare expenses, all of that goes into a computerized worksheet that is generally universal in the state of Ohio. There is something called a downward deviation because of additional time. So although you have equal time, if there is inequal or unequal or an inequitable amount of income then you would have a situation where you still might have a small child support obligation, even after a deviation for that extra time.

Still have questions on how child custody affects child support? Call Dungan & LeFevre’s family law attorneys today.


How Does Child Custody Influence Child Support?

Child support is money one parent pays to the other to help cover the child’s expenses. The amount of child support depends on various factors, including custody arrangements.

Here’s how different custody scenarios can impact child support:

Sole Custody

If one parent has sole legal custody, the other parent usually pays child support. The amount is based on both parents’ income and the child’s needs.

Joint Custody

In joint legal custody, both parents share the time the child lives with them. Child support calculations in this scenario consider the income of both parents and the amount of time the child spends with each parent. The parent with the higher income or the one who spends less time with the child may pay child support to the other parent.

Calculating Child Support in Ohio

Ohio uses a specific formula to calculate child support. This formula considers:

  • The income of both parents.
  • The number of children needing support.
  • Costs for health insurance coverage
  • Costs for child care.

The Ohio Child Support Guidelines provide a standard method for determining the amount of support. Here’s a simplified version of how it works:

  • Calculate the combined gross income of both parents.
  • Determine the basic child support obligation from a pre-set table based on combined income and number of children.
  • Adjust for factors like health insurance, childcare, and any special needs.

Imagine that the combined income of both parents is $60,000 and they have two children. The guideline might suggest a basic child support obligation of $9,000 per year.

This amount is then divided between the parents based on their incomes and custody arrangements.

Modifying Child Support and Custody Arrangements

Sometimes, circumstances change, and the original child support or custody agreement may need to be modified. Here are common reasons for modifications:

  • Changes in Income: If one parent loses a job or gets a significant raise, the child support amount might need to be adjusted.
  • Changes in Custody: If the custody arrangement changes, such as one parent moving closer or farther away, child support might also need to be recalculated.
  • Child’s Needs: If the child develops special needs or requires more financial support, modifications may be necessary.

To modify child support or custody, a parent must file a request with the court. The court will review the request and make decisions based on the best interests of the child.

Do I Need to Work with a Child Support Lawyer?

Child custody and support cases are complex. Each case is unique, and even if you think you have a relatively straightforward situation, extenuating circumstances can complicate matters. A child support lawyer can guide you through these difficult calculations.

In Ohio, the court’s main goal is to ensure the child’s best interests are met, both in terms of who cares for them and how their financial needs are met.

It’s important to seek legal advice. A family law attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal system, and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child. They’ll ensure that you can provide for your family.

Call Dungan & LeFevre for Your Custody Needs Today

Dungan & LeFevre has been helping families in the Troy area for decades. We know that custody and support cases can get heated quickly. We understand that you want straight answers and we’re ready to hear your story.

If you have questions about child custody or child support, contact our office today at 937-339-0511 or use our online form to schedule a consultation.

Work With Our Miami County Legal Team

Whatever your demands, Dungan & LeFevre is the full-service law firm you need. We can help you explore your options, guide you through challenges, and represent you in court. You can rely on our experience and knowledge to steer you to your best decision for the most reasonable price. Get started with a consultation.