7 FAQs about Child Support in Ohio

Date Posted:October 7, 2014 | Categories:

Child Support Lawyer Columbus Ohio

Understanding the nuances of Child Support can be difficult.  The process of Divorce and supplying child support can be stressful and overwhelming, however finding the right lawyer can help bring clarity to the process.  Below you will find frequently asked questions and general answers.  As in all legal maters, it is important to talk to attorneys focused on Child Support and Family law during the process of divorce or separation.  To learn more about your unique situation, and how these frequently asked questions apply to your specific case, please contact Edward F. Whipps & Associates to schedule an initial consultation.

  1. What terms should I know moving forward?  I want to make sure I understand what I’m reading

o   Obligor – the parent required to pay child support.  Generally, this is the non- custodial parent.  The obligor provides payment to support the child living with the custodial parent.

o   Obligee – parent receiving child support payments from obligor.

  1. When will child support in Ohio normally end?

o   In Ohio a parent’s obligation to provide child support ends when the child reaches the age of 18, and graduated or left high school.  If a child has reached 18, and still in high school, the child support continues until the child has completed high school.  This shall last no longer than the 19th birthday.  Generally this is known as the age of emancipation. 

o   Parents of children with disabilities are often an exception to this rule.  Ohio law allows that the legal obligation of support may continue past the point of normal termination date if it is deemed the child’s mental state or physical disability prevents the child from supporting his or her self.  If you feel your child may need ongoing care past the age of emancipation, it is important to seek out child support attorneys in Columbus, Ohio with experience and compassion for families.

  1. Can the amount of child support be modified later?

o   Yes, parents can petition the court every 36 months (3 years) after the date of the original child support order or last review, to review or adjust the support order.

o   When a caseworker reviews the files, he or she will examine the respective income information from each party, and evaluate whether or not the child support should be adjusted.  During this review process, caseworkers will also review whether the child’s existing health insurance should be changed or modified.

o   When a caseworker adjusts the child support, they can increase or decrease the amount provided in child support based on the guidelines set by the state of Ohio.  The caseworker will also examine any pertinent changes in the child’s health insurance, which could affect a change in child support.

o   It is important to understand how changes in the circumstances may require modification of child support.  To better understand the special circumstances that would allow for an increase or decrease in support, it is best to speak to a child support attorney. 

  1. Is medical coverage available as child support?

o   Generally yes.   If health insurance is available for a spouse making the child support payments, then the spouse should also provide insurance for the child, when coverage is available and reasonable, or expected to be available.

  1. How does the Court enforce the Child Support orders?

o   The Court has a multitude of ways to enforce the child support order.  One of the many ways is to suspend the driver’s license of the obligor.  This is not an automatic process and will require the help of an attorney focused in family law.  It may be psychologically draining and demanding to go through the process of asking for court intervention.  This is why finding the right attorney in your area to guide you through the process is so important.

o   In addition to revoking the obligors drivers license, the court may order property liens, and report delinquent obligors to credit bureaus.  In order to enforce the court order, you need to return to court to find the obligor in contempt of the current order and to compel the payment of past due amounts in accordance to the existing agreement.  It is important that you find a skilled and competent attorney to make the process as painless and efficient as possible.  Having solid legal representation can and will make the process less stressful and keep the focus on the family.

  1. Why would Child support be terminated?

o   Termination of child support can occur for multiple reasons.  When a child reaches the age of emancipation and is no longer enrolled in high school, if the child is adopted before emancipation, or married before emancipation.  In addition to life events, child support may change when the parents status in the work force changes.  If one parent paying child support is out of work for an extended period of time, or permanently disabled, the court may terminate child support.  Again, the court will need to a showing that good cause exists to terminate the child support obligation.

  1. What are my next steps?

o   Your next steps to insuring a safe financial future for your child are to contact a Columbus, Ohio child support attorney.  It is important to understand that each case is unique.  Set up an initial consultation to review the facts of your case with your attorney.  Ask yourself, do you feel that the attorney will put your family first?  Finding the right representation is important, and it is crucial to find a firm that has many years of legal experience to support your case. 

The above points serve as a guide to help you prepare for the process of finding a Child Support Attorney in Columbus, Ohio.  Only after carefully reviewing all the factors surrounding your specific situation will an attorney be able to provide the correct guidance.  In every case, the focus needs to be on the child, or children.  When you need an attorney experienced in reviewing and seeking the most effective child support, Edward F. Whipps & Associates is a firm that has been focused on helping children and families for over 30 years. 

Call Edward F. Whipps & Associates for a free consultation at our Columbus office at (614) 461-6006, our Dublin office at (614) 461-6007.