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Ohio Child Support Calculations

Children, for all their wonderful qualities, are not inexpensive to raise. When parents end their relationship, determining child support is often contentious. Each parent is legally responsible for financially supporting their child; and as part of divorce or legal separation proceedings one parent may be ordered to pay child support to contribute to the cost of caring for minor children. The amount depends on several factors, and this article provides an overview of Ohio's child support calculations.

Child Support Calculation Guidelines

Child support calculations are outlined by statute to ensure consistent, equitable awards. Courts or a child support enforcement agency will determine their child support orders based on statutory guidelines. In Ohio, child support calculations are based on an income share concept -- the idea that children should receive a level of support equal to what they received when their parents still lived together.

The amount of each parent's child support obligation is calculated on the parents' combined annual gross income. This is adjusted based on several considerations, including:

  • Imputed income (income the parent would have earned if fully employed).
  • Support for children not born during the marriage.
  • Child care and health care expenses.

The adjusted gross income and the number of minor children are entered into a statutory schedule which determines a parent's annual child support obligation. Each parent's contributing share is the percentage their income comprises of the annual gross income.

Deviating From the Child Support Schedule

Ohio does allow deviation from the statutory schedule in certain circumstances. A court may consider several factors in determining whether to grant such a deviation, including:

  • The child's special needs.
  • Income disparity between parties or the households.
  • The standard of living each parent and the child would enjoy had the marriage continued.

Changing Current Child Support Calculations

Once child support is calculated and a support order exists, either parent may request an adjustment of the order via administrative review 36 months from the order's establishment date or last review date. Parents may also qualify for review if they meet certain circumstances such as incarceration or no-fault layoffs. Child support obligations may remain the same, decrease, or even increase after a review.

Ohio Child Support Calculations at a Glance

The statutory form of a law is a great place to begin learning about key terms and legal standards of the section at issue. However, understanding the meaning of a law is often easier when it's laid out in plain English. This chart provides you with an overview of Ohio's child support calculations.


Ohio Revised Code Title XXXI. Section 3119.01 (Calculation of Child Support Obligation Definitions)

General Child Support Calculation

Based on the parents' annual gross income and the number of minor children, child support obligations are calculated along on a monetary schedule in the statute.

Gross Income

Gross income is the total of all earned and unearned income from all sources during a calendar year (taxable and exempt). It includes:

  • Salaries, wages, overtime, bonuses, commission, tips, and pension.
  • Trust income, annuities, dividends, and interest.
  • Worker's compensation, disability, and Social Security benefits.
  • Spousal support actually received.
  • All other sources of income.

Related Statutes

Ohio Revised Code Title XXXI:

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Ohio Child Support Calculations: Related Resources

Legal Advice on Child Support Calculations

Ohio's child support laws can be intimidating and complicated, but navigating the process is critical because it impacts your child's welfare. To learn about your potential child support obligations or get answers to questions about your situation, consult an experienced Ohio Child Support Attorney today.

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