Child Support FAQs

Here are some of the most common questions we are asked about child support:

Q: Who has to pay child support?

A: Ohio law requires the legal parent of a child to support him/her. This may be a biological parent, an adoptive parent or a father who has acknowledged paternity in probate court or on a birth certificate. Ohio law also imposes a duty of parental support on married people.

Q: How does Ohio determine child support?

A: The Ohio Supreme Court has established guidelines for determination of child support obligations. Exceptions will be made only if, after reviewing legally required facts and criteria, the court determines the amount is inappropriate and unjust, and the court issues specific findings of fact to support this determination.

Q: What type of income is used to determine child support payments?

A: The parents' gross income is used for child support determination. This includes earned and unearned income, and includes the following:

  • Wages, salaries, overtime and bonuses
  • Tips, royalties, commissions, rents, severance pay, rental income, pensions, interest, annuities and trust income
  • Spousal support received from an individual who is not a party to the support proceeding
  • Disability insurance benefits, workers' compensation, unemployment
  • Social Security benefits
  • Veterans benefits
  • All other nonexempt sources of income

Exempted income includes welfare payments, food stamps, SSI, specific service-connected disability payments, child support for children not born or adopted during the marriage, specific mandatory wage deductions and unsustainable or nonrecurring income or cash flow.

Please visit an Ohio Child Support Calculator to help determine your child support payment.

Q: When does the child support obligation end?

A: Child support typically lasts until the child is at least 18. It can end earlier if the child is emancipated or gets married. And it may last longer if the child is still attending high school or has a mental or physical disability that prevents him from supporting himself/herself.

Though child support payments are typically determined by legal guidelines, there are special circumstances that can affect the amount. Additionally, there are factors that can complicate the process, such as one spouse quitting a job or failing to report all of his/her income. For assistance in handling these matters, please call us at 440-462-1882.