Recent Changes to Ohio Child Support Laws

Ohio child support laws ensure that every child receives at least minimal financial contributions from both parents in the event that the child’s parents divorce (or were never together for the long term) and cannot agree on how to provide for the child’s basic needs. These Ohio laws not only benefit children but also society as a whole, because without legal framework making sure that parents are held accountable the burden would fall to the government (i.e., all of us as taxpaying citizens) to take care of these children.

Every 25 years or so, it is time for a change. Ohio’s child support laws had not been updated since 1992 but on June 29, 2018 Governor John Kasich signed into law House Bill 366, which will impact child support in several ways. Here are the highlights:

1) If you make$14,000 per year or less, under the new law your child support obligation would be calculated to not exceed your income or leave you without a sufficient cushion. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is in the process of rewriting the table that is used to calculate child support. However, the minimum monthly child support payment per child will now be $80 per month (it used to be $50 per month).

2) If your parenting time is greater than 90 overnights per year, your child support obligation could be reduced. If your parenting time is greater than 147 overnights per year, the court is required to either reduce your child support payments accordingly or explain in writing the reasoning for not doing so.

3) The parent who receives child support (the “obligee”) will be responsible for providing health insurance coverage for the child(ren). The parent who pays for the health insurance could then deduct that cost from their annual income.

4) If you are paying child support to multiple people, your payments may increase. The new law requires that each child receive at least a basic, standard amount; under the old law, the first child whose parent filed for child support received a larger amount.

5) At least once every four years, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services will review the basic child support table guidelines to make sure that child support orders issued under those guidelines “adequately provide for the needs of children who are subject to the child support orders.” The Department will submit that review to the Ohio Legislature and that report may include recommendations about how the law could/should be changed.

Most of these provisions will not go into effect until March 28, 2019, but a few will take effect as of September 28, 2018.

Contact Anne Harvey at anne@anneharvey.com if you have any questions about how this new law could affect the child support you are paying or the child support you are receiving.

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