Family Law : Child Support

How is child support established?

When parents with minor children separate, child support becomes an important issue.

Ohio has strong and effective laws for the establishment of paternity, the establishment of child support orders, and the enforcement of child support orders.

Ohio also has specific child support guidelines for calculating the amount of child support based on both parents’ incomes and the number of children subject to the support order.

How is child support enforced?

Ohio courts, prosecutors, and county Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs) have many tools for enforcing child support orders, including but not limited to:

  • income or withholding deduction orders (as from employee paychecks or bank accounts),
  • criminal penalties,
  • contempt actions,
  • seek work orders,
  • seizure of income tax refunds,
  • driver’s license or occupational license suspensions,
  • obtaining court judgments or assessing property liens for collecting child support arrears,
  • tax refund intercepts, and
  • reporting delinquent child support obligations to credit bureaus.

How do I terminate or change child support arrangements?

You must let the Court or CSEA know that one of the events listed above has occurred before your obligation to pay support ends. You can either:

  • call the CSEA and request termination, OR
  • file a Motion to Terminate Child Support with the Court

If you file a motion with the Court, they will either send you a notice that child support has been terminated or schedule a hearing on the matter. At the hearing, be prepared to prove that one of these events has occurred. Events can include, but not limited to:

  • you have been out of work for the past six months,
  • you have become permanently disabled and provide medical proof of your disability,
  • you are in jail or in an institution and have no assets to pay support,
  • you have another child you are paying support to.

When can I stop paying child support?

The law states that when one of the following events occur, you, as the parent, no longer have to pay child support:

  • your child turned 18 years of age. (If your child is still attending high school when he/she turns 18, you are obligated to pay support until the child turns 19 years of age),

  • your child lives on his/her own, joined the military, or got married (even though he or she has not yet turned 18)

For more information on domestic violence visit the Ohio Domestic Violence Resource Center.

See also the Forms & Education tab in this section for more information.

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