Cincinnati Bengals' Devon Stills Accused of Not Paying Child Support

For the past several months, the feel-good story of the National Football League season has been Cincinnati Bengals' Devon Stills and his daughter's inspirational fight with cancer. Now, Devon Stills is involved a different fight: a child support controversy.

According to a recent report in the New York Daily News, Channing Smythe claims that Stills has failed to pay child support payments over the last four months. Smythe claims that as a result of Stills allegedly failing to make child support payments, she has been pushed to the edge of homelessness and is living on food stamps. An attorney for Smythe has asked the NFL to investigate whether Stills has violated the NFL's conduct policy by allegedly not making child support payments.

Stills issued a statement that he would not retaliate against the mother of his daughter and would "continue to allow the court system to handle this matter, as it has been doing these last couple of months." Stills's daughter lives in Delaware, so a Delaware court would handle any child support issues.

Calculation of Child Support Under Ohio Law

If you have a child who requires child support payments, it is important that you turn to an experienced Cleveland child support attorney who can help protect your and your child's rights. Furthermore, a Cleveland child support attorney can also defend those who have been wrongfully accused of failing to make child support payments.

Under Ohio law, child support obligations are calculated based on a predetermined formula. The formula combines the gross income of both parents, unless the combined income of the parents is less than $60,000 or more than $150,000. The combined gross income is then applied to a predetermined child support formula to obtain the yearly child support obligation of each parent.

Each parent, however, may apply certain deductions to reduce one's gross income and, in turn, reduce any child support payment. Examples of allowable deductions include court-ordered support paid for other children, court-ordered spousal support paid, mandatory work-related deductions (such as union dues or uniform fees), and local income taxes.

As an example, if the parents' combined annual gross income is $60,000 then the child support obligation for one child would be $8,000 per year. The obligation increases with each additional child. In addition, each parent's child support obligation is proportional to the parent's gross income. Therefore, if the mother's gross income is $40,000 (66.6%) and the father's income is $20,000 (33.3%) then the mother would be responsible for about $5,333 and the father would be responsible for about $2,667 of the yearly obligation.

    Ohio law generally requires child support payments to stop on a child's eighteenth birthday or until the child graduates high school. There are certain exceptions, however, when payments may be required beyond a child's eighteenth birthday. Examples of these situations include:
  • if a child is mentally or physically disabled and is incapable of supporting or maintaining himself or herself;
  • the parents agree to continue payments; or
  • the child continuously attends a recognized and accredited high school on a full-time basis.
  • Contact a Cleveland Child Support Attorney

    If you have questions about Ohio's laws on child support obligations, an experienced Ohio child support attorney can answer your questions. At Laubacher & Co., we have a team of experienced Cleveland attorneys who are knowledgable in all aspects of family law, including divorce, child support issues, and child custody disputes. Contact one of our Cleveland child support attorneys today for a free consultation.

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