When going through a divorce, custody of the children is an important element that must be decided. Once the custody arrangements are made, child support must also be determined accordingly. According to the United Census Bureau Report titled Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support, there are 13.6 million custodial single parents living in the U.S. If you are a parent looking to establish or modify a child support arrangement, having a family law attorney to guide you through the process can be a tremendous asset.
At Peterson & Peterson, LLC, our team can help fight for your best interests and your family’s well-being. We proudly serve individuals and families in Xenia, Beavercreek, and Bellbrook, as well as the neighboring Ohio counties of Greene, Clark, Montgomery, Warren, Clinton, and Fayette.
If you need legal representation in matters involving child support, reach out to us at Peterson & Peterson, LLC today and schedule a consultation.
Parents have a financial obligation to their children. When it comes to divorce, both parents still have this obligation, but it just looks different. The noncustodial parent in the custody arrangement is the one who pays the other parent a set amount in child support.
In Ohio, there is a child support guideline that is used in order to determine the monetary amount that will be owed to the other parent. According to the Ohio Office of Child Support, the child support guidelines are the standard method for setting the amount of child support and cash medical support obligations in the child support order. The guidelines use a mathematical formula based on the combined income of the parents and other factors, including any Social Security benefits the child is receiving on behalf of one of the parents. The guidelines also take into consideration the custody agreement. If there is split custody, the parent with the higher income pays the other parent, but only at a rate that makes up the difference of what each parent needs to provide for their children.
The goal of child support is to provide the child with the same standard of living that they had when both parents were together. The support payments help cover basic needs such as food, clothing, and educational fees. Parents can either agree to child support and have it finalized in family court or the court can order it based on the guidelines.
If one parent is deliberately earning less money so that they can either pay less in child support or receive more child support, it can be considered “imputed income.” This occurs only in certain circumstances. If this happens, the court takes factors into consideration such as education, prior work history, and the availability of employment in the area.
If you have a child support agreement in place and want to modify it, you can ask the court to do so. Similar to a custody agreement, the court uses the child’s best interests as the standard for child support modification. A judge will consider a variety of factors if they deviate from the guidelines, including but not limited to:
Other court-ordered payments
The child’s unusual needs
Benefits that either parent receives from living with someone else
Extraordinary obligations for other minor children
The child’s educational needs
Any disparity of income between the households
Child support agreements generally last until the child becomes an adult, but may get terminated before they turn 18 years of age. Other reasons for termination can include:
The child getting married
The child has been emancipated by court order
The child enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces
The child getting deported
The child dying
The child has a change in legal custody
If either parent remarries, that can also be grounds for termination of the child support agreement. Any change or termination must be requested from the court.
At Peterson & Peterson, LLC, our team understands how difficult the divorce process can be and is ready to help set you up for success and happiness as you move forward. Serving Xenia, Fairborn, Dayton, Kettering, Oakwood, Centerville, Bellbrook, Beavercreek, and surrounding areas, we will fight to protect your rights and your family’s best interests. Contact us today for a consultation.