Child support is a court-ordered payment for the support of one or more child of the parties’ marriage. Child support may be part of the terms of a divorce, a dissolution, a legal separation, or following the determination of parentage.
It is almost universally recognized that both parents have an obligation to provide support for their children. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, either the father or mother may be ordered to pay child support to the other; gender does not automatically determine who is the obligor (the party who pays support) and who is the obligee (the party who receives support).
In Ohio, child support is calculated based on a statutory formula. This is often referred to as guideline child support. Factors such as income of the parties, work-related child care expenses, health insurance costs, the number of children and child support paid for children of previous relationship(s) are entered into the statutory formula to determine the guideline child support amount. The court then has discretion to deviate the resulting child support amount upward or downward from the guideline child support amount, depending on various factors, including parenting time and the parties’ incomes.
It is important to note that child support and child visitation are considered separate issues. As such, the obligee may not deny visitation privileges to the obligor as a punitive measure for failing to pay child support. Conversely, the obligor is required to make child support payments in full, whether or not he or she is allowed parenting time with the child.