Child Support is an often misunderstood and contentious issue between parents. There are several ways to establish child support. One way is to create a strategy using an Ohio Child Support Attorney.

Child Support Enforcement Agency

A mother, parent with custody of a child, or a married parent who is residing separately from their spouse can seek an administrative determination of child support by contacting their county child support enforcement agency. This is a relatively easy process that does not require an attorney. However, if either of the parties disagree with the administrative determination of child support, then the issue could eventually be determined in a court proceeding, and obtaining a child support attorney would be tremendously beneficial.


The other manner in which child support is determined is through a court proceeding. If the parents are married, this is done through a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation proceeding. If they are not married, establishment of child support can occur through a custody, parentage, or child support action filed in the juvenile, domestic relations, or family court.

Establishing the Child Support Obligor

The law is fairly clear that the child support obligor is the parent that does not have custody. However, if the parties enter into or are ordered to have a shared parenting plan, then the higher income earner is the child support obligor regardless of parenting time. It is a frequent misconception that a parent who has equal parenting time as the other parent will not be ordered to pay child support.

The law has been recently changed to provide certain statutory relief to the child support obligor. If an individual that would pay child support has

  • more than 90 overnights, then that payor will receive a 10% adjustment (reduction).
  • more than 147 overnights, then the child obligor may receive a significant deviation (reduction) of child support.

The issue of child support is more complex than simply conducting a math problem. The Court has discretion to deviate the child support amount upwards or downwards based upon a myriad of factors, so it is important that you have a skilled and prepared attorney representing you to ensure that your financial interests are met and that each parent can afford their life with the child.

Modifying Child Support Orders

There are a few ways to modify child support orders:

  • One method is to wait 3 years, and then request an administrative review of your child support order. If the administrative review through the child support enforcement agency determines a change in your child support of 10% or more, then the child support can be modified. A change in circumstances is required to change your child support obligation/benefit. A change in circumstances is found to exist if the child support obligation changes by 10% or more. 
  • Another method of modifying child support is to file a request with the court that issued the child support order. If a motion is filled to modify child support, the court has to determine that the new child support results in a 10% change in the child support amount. Additionally, a change in the status of the parties can result in an opportunity to modify support.

Uninvolved Parents

Often, to avoid paying child support, an uninvolved party who is requested or ordered to pay child support files a motion to establish their parental rights or parenting time with the minor children. As such, many single parents must make the difficult decision to either request support and risk that the uninvolved parent becomes involved with the child or they are left to struggle financially without support but have assurance that the other parent remains uninvolved. This is further complicated if the child receives government assistance because the State can initiate child support proceedings.


Child support, whether ordered in an administrative or court proceeding, is an obligation. If a parent does not pay the child support as ordered, then the other parent can initiate a contempt action to enforce the child support order. If successful in pursuing a contempt motion, then one can recover a portion of their attorney fees expended in litigating the contempt motion.

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