Big Changes to Child Support in Ohio

In June, the Ohio Legislature finalized and passed House Bill 366, short titled “Change Laws Governing Child Support.” This bill has introduced widespread change to the way Ohio lawyers will calculate, advocate, and determine child support for families moving forward.

Ohio’s child support guidelines were last modified in 1992. For those who may remember, in 1992 the Clinton family was moving into the White House, Barney & Friends premiered on television, and price of gasoline was $1.09 per gallon. Needless to say, it was time for Ohio to take another look at the guidelines.

What has changed? The big and obvious change is that the annual support levels have all increased to account for inflation, current costs of living, and the new tax rates. Additionally, the child support worksheet now accounts for gross family incomes up to $336,000 combined (the current worksheet only calculated gross family income up to $150,000).

Another big change is that the new child support worksheet now gives an automatic 10% deviation downward if the parent paying the child support has 90 or more periods of overnight parenting time during a calendar year. For parents with 147 or more overnights, the Court must address the specific facts of the case and determine whether or not a larger deviation downward is appropriate. The current worksheet does not have any built-in mechanism to reduce child support due to the amount of parenting time of either parent.

Other significant changes include built-in modifications when there are multiple children with different parents paying child support. The new worksheet looks at each parent’s total number of children separately to determine an appropriate credit.

The cost of childcare is now capped within the worksheet. Parents can no longer get full credit for child care costs exceeding what the State of Ohio has now deemed reasonable for the particular age range of a child.

For lower income families, the new tables have established a self-sufficiency reserve and the minimum child support order increased from $50.00/month to $80.00/month.

When will this take effect? The new worksheet and tables become effective on March 28, 2019.

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    Shawn M. Evans

    Shawn Evans joined Wood + Lamping in 2013 after practicing with another local law firm for several years. Shawn practices exclusively in the areas of domestic relations including divorce, dissolution, prenuptial agreements, property settlements, spousal support, and parenting matters including child custody, parenting time, child support and grandparents’ rights. In addition to having extensive trial experience, Shawn is also collaboratively trained and a member of the Cincinnati Association of Collaborative Professionals. She is also qualified to serve as a Guardian Ad Litem and Parenting Coordinator.

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