Asked in Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support for Ohio

Q: I worked PT for my entire 10 year marriage to my ex. We have two kids (11 &7). Will they impute my income if I review?

My ex is active duty Army, and stationed in GA. Although we have a shared parenting plan, I have our children 90% of the time. Between school, sports, and extracurriculars working part time is hard enough. I worked part time for the entirety of our marriage (10 years), so that I could still parent our children. Now it is even harder because I am a single parent and our children only see him during the summer for six weeks. He has given me a hard time every step of the way as far as paying for half of our childrens extracurriculars, (which he is required to per our decree). Since our divorce was finalized two years ago, his annual income has gone up. I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water with the $1000 in CS that I am receiving per month. Even when I calculate his previous income at the time of our divorce it tells me that I should be getting $1400/month. Something was not figured correctly. Also, there has been many instances in which he has not adhered to our decree.

1 Lawyer Answer
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Canton, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: It is certainly possible for a court to impute income. It is at the court's discretion. You make compelling arguments as to the limits on your availability. There are many factors that can be considered by the Court.

In Ohio, child support is determined following state guidelines (found generally in the Revised Code and more specifically in the Administrative Code) to ensure fairness and consistency. The guidelines take into account various factors, including:

Income of Both Parents: The primary factor is the income of both parents. The court assesses their gross income, which includes wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, pensions, and any other sources of income.

Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements: The amount of time each parent spends with the child can influence child support. Generally, the parent with more parenting time may receive a lower support amount, as their direct financial responsibilities for the child are higher.

Childcare and Healthcare Costs: Childcare expenses (such as daycare) and the cost of providing health insurance for the child are considered. These costs are typically divided between the parents in proportion to their incomes.

Child's Extraordinary Needs: If the child has special needs that require additional financial support, the court may take these needs into consideration when determining child support.

Other Child Support Obligations: If a parent has other children from a previous or subsequent relationship, the court considers the support they are obligated to pay for those children as well.

Income Tax Considerations: The tax implications of child support payments are also taken into account, as they may impact the disposable income of both parents.

Educational Expenses: In some cases, educational expenses such as private school tuition or higher education costs may be considered.

Deviations from Guidelines: While the state provides guidelines, the court may deviate from them if there are compelling reasons to do so. However, such deviations must be based on specific circumstances and are subject to judicial discretion.

It's important to emphasize that child support is designed to prioritize the child's best interests and ensure financial stability following parental separation. Ohio courts aim to establish a fair and equitable arrangement that considers the financial capacities and responsibilities of both parents.

To receive accurate advice tailored to your situation, I recommend consulting with a family law attorney near you. They will guide you through the specifics of child support determination and help you understand how these factors apply to your case. This forum is no substitute for your investment in retaining counsel.

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