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What Is Child Support Supposed to Cover in Ohio?

 Posted on August 05, 2022 in Family Law

Summit County Child Support AttorneyThere are many issues that must be decided in an Ohio divorce. If the couple has children, child support may be included in that list. Unfortunately, child support can become a very contentious issue even though which parent will pay and the amount of support are determined by the court. There is often resentment by the paying parent over being legally required to pay. Understanding what child support is actually used for may be able to alleviate some of that resentment.

Child Support in Ohio

Under the laws of Ohio, child support is calculated using the income shares model. Under this method, the court looks at both parents’ gross income and determines what amount of that combined income was dedicated to the child’s care before the parents split up. Economic tables are used by the court to estimate the monthly cost of raising a child and then the paying parent pays a percentage of that amount based on their proportional share of both parents’ combined income.

According to Ohio law, income that can be counted towards a parent’s gross income includes:

  • Salaries, wages, commissions, overtime pay, severance pay, tips, and bonuses

  • Workers’ compensation benefits

  • Unemployment benefits

  • Retirement and Social Security benefits

  • Social Security and other disability benefits

  • Rents

  • Trust Income and interest


If the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent will be ordered to pay child support. If the parents are sharing custody, the judge will evaluate the circumstances of the case and decide if any special circumstances exist to warrant one parent paying child support to the other. Other special factors that may have to be considered include childcare expenses, medical expenses, special education needs, and more.

What Is Child Support Supposed to Cover?

When the court orders one parent to pay the other parent child support, those funds are meant to cover the basic living expenses of their child. This includes rent, utilities, food, and clothing.

There are other expenses for a child that the paying parent who resents their child support obligation may not realize the receiving parent also incurs. These expenses can include:

  • School supplies and other school-related costs

  • Expenses for sports, lessons, and other extra-curricular activities

  • Uninsured medical expenses (the court will usually determine which parent will carry health insurance for the child)

  • Entertainment

  • Transportation

Some of these extra expenses, as well as future college expenses, can be addressed by the court in the final divorce decree.

Contact a Wayne County Family Law Attorney

If you are going through a divorce and have children, make sure to have a skilled Medina County divorce attorney advocating for you to ensure your parental rights are protected. Call The Law Office of Whitney K.S. Miller, LLC at 330-725-4114 to schedule a confidential consultation. We offer free consultations in most cases.



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