Child Support Guideline Questions

Child Support Guidelines Questions & Answers

Q. What are the child support guidelines?

A. The Child Support Guidelines are guidelines passed by the Ohio legislature which calculate child support orders based upon the financial circumstances of both parents. Use of these guidelines is required for the establishment or modification of all child support orders in Ohio. The amount of child support which is calculated using the worksheets and schedules contained in these guidelines is presumed under the law to be the correct amount of child support in each case.

Q. Are the earnings of both parents considered in setting support?

A. Yes.

Q. Are there any adjustments allowed for second families in the guidelines?

A. Yes. The guidelines allow an adjustment equal to the federal tax exemption for each child who is your biological child from another relationship, as long as the child is living with you. If you are the custodial parent of a child, your adjustment will factor in any child support received for that child.

Q. Do the guidelines allow an adjustment for the parent who is paying for child care?

A. Yes. The guidelines provide a credit for child care expenses for those children included in the order, relating to work, employment training or education.

Q. Is there any allowance for the parent who has to pay health insurance?

A. Yes. The guidelines provide a credit for marginal, out-of-pocket costs of health insurance which will therefore affect the amount of the order.

Failure to pay Child support-the Consequences

Q. What does it mean to be "in default" of a child support order and what can happen to me if I go into default?

A. If you get behind at least one full month in child support payments, you are in default. You will be sent a form outlining the enforcement remedies that may be taken to remedy the default.

Q. What if I don't agree that I am in default? Do I have appeal rights?

A. You are only entitled to request an administrative hearing to decide if the arrearage amount is correct and if you are the correct person who owes the money. If you disagree with the administrative hearing decision, you may file for a court hearing.

Q. My ex-spouse collects Social Security Disability. Can income withholding occur on that check?

A. Yes, there can be income withholding for Social Security Disability and Social Security Retirement benefits. There cannot be a withholding for SSI because those benefits are a form of public assistance.

Q. My ex-spouse changes jobs frequently. This keeps me from receiving regular payments. What can be done?

A. The law requires the non-residential parent to notify the CSEA when a change in employment occurs. Even if he/she doesn't, the employment or assets are reported through the New Hire Reporting Program. Employers must report all their new hires in 20 days; therefore it is now easier for the CSEAs to find out about the non-residential parent's change of employment and new employer.

Q. I am on Unemployment Compensation. Is there a limit on the amount that can be taken out for child support?

A. Yes. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Office of Unemployment Compensation can only deduct up to 50% of the non- residential parent's unemployment benefits to pay the child support. If the unemployment compensation benefits are insufficient to meet the entire obligation, arrears will accrue on the order.

Q. Can I get support from a non-residential parent who is in jail or in prison?

A. Yes. Income withholding is allowed from prison earnings. In addition, support will continue to accrue during the period of incarceration. Please contact your local CSEA.

Q. What do I do when children have emancipated and there is still money owed?

A. Emancipation does not terminate arrears. You should contact your CSEA so that they may review your individual circumstances.

Q. Can the CSEA collect for support if the non-residential parent is in the military?

A. Yes. The local CSEA can take steps to do a withholding through the military system. Please contact your local CSEA.