Canton Child Support Lawyer

Legal Help for Child Support Orders and Modifications

Every parent knows that the financial support of a child is paramount to their success. However, if one parent disagrees about how much money they should provide for their child, it can cause tension and frustration. In these situations, obtaining a court order for child support may be necessary.

For over 32 years, the Canton family law attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP have provided dedicated representation for child support cases. We help individuals seek to establish child support obligations or modify an existing order. Children need the financial support of both parents. Our Canton child support lawyers can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under Ohio law.

If you need help with a child support order or modification, contact our office at (330) 968-2547 for a confidential consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist you and your family.

Establishing Child Support in Canton

Ohio courts understand the importance of parents contributing to their child’s care and healthy upbringing. A court or local Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) can establish a child support obligation determining the amount that a non-custodial parent must pay to facilitate the financial assistance that a child will need throughout their lives.

People who may need to request a child support order include:

  • Paternity cases
  • Unmarried parents
  • Parents seeking a legal separation
  • Parents seeking a divorce or dissolution of marriage

To obtain a child support order, you may need first to establish paternity. Paternity can be established through an “Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit,” genetic testing, or court order.

A Canton child support lawyer can help ensure that your child receives fair and full financial assistance as allowed under Ohio law. Contact our office at (330) 968-2547 to discuss your legal options for establishing or modifying child support obligations.

Changes to the Ohio Child Support Laws

The Ohio child support laws were modified in 2018 after Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 366 into law. The bill established new child support guidelines for the first time in 25 years. The law took effect on March 28, 2019, and altered how child support is calculated in the state. It also adjusted the minimum amount that a parent must pay.

Contact our office to learn more about the state child support laws changes. Our Canton child support lawyers can help you understand your rights under the new law and how it might affect your child support obligation.

Ohio Child Support Calculator

Ohio has created a basic child support schedule under Section 3119.021 of the Revised Code. The schedule creates a basic obligation based on the parent’s combined annual income.

The Ohio Child Support Calculator can help you estimate the support obligation amount. However, you will need to know the income and expenses of both parents as well as an in-depth understanding of state and federal law to complete the worksheet accurately.

Because of the complexities of determining child support and using the child support calculator, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney. Our Canton child support lawyers can help you more accurately estimate the amount of child support you may be obligated to pay or receive on behalf of your child.

Determining Income for Child Support

Ohio uses a modified “Income Shares” model to determine support which factors in that both parents should share, in proportion to their income, in the financial support of their child or children. The goal is that a child receives the same level of financial resources that they would have if their parents had remained together.

Income in a child support case may include but is not limited to:

  • Salaries, wages, overtime pay, and bonuses;
  • Commissions, royalties, tips, and rents;
  • Dividends, severance pay, pensions, interest, trust income, and annuities;
  • Social security benefits, including retirement, disability, and survivor benefits;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits; and
  • Unemployment insurance benefits.

Income may be the gross income, such as the items listed above, or the potential income for a parent who is unemployed or underemployed. Potential income may include income that is imputed by a court or agency. Expenses are also accounted for when determining child support. Expenses or adjustments may include child care expenses, health insurance premiums, other child support orders, and more.

Imputed Income in Canton Child Support Cases

Ohio Revised Code Section 3119.01 defines imputed income as income that an Ohio court or agency determines a parent would have received if they were fully employed.

Imputed income may be determined by factors such as:

  • Prior employment experience;
  • Education;
  • Physical and mental disabilities;
  • Special skills and training that the parent has;
  • Availability of employment in the area;
  • Prevailing wage and salary levels in the area;
  • Age and special needs of the child;
  • Increased earning capacity because of experience;
  • Decreased earning capacity due to a felony conviction;
  • Other relevant factors.

To determine the amount of potential income that may be determined by an Ohio court or agency, contact our Canton child support lawyers at (330) 968-2547 for a consultation.

Providing Medical Support for a Child

Providing medical support is critical to a child’s health and well-being. Child support orders will generally include a monthly cash medical support obligation designed to cover all of the “ordinary medical expenses” incurred by a child throughout the calendar year. A court or agency will also look at extraordinary medical expenses that may incur based on a child’s special needs.

Parents will also need to provide health insurance coverage for a child. The court will examine which parent should provide health insurance coverage based on whether it is reasonable in cost, can be obtained through an employer or other source, and other factors.

Modifying a Child Support Obligation

In some cases, modifying an existing Canton child support order may be necessary. A court or agency will usually consider a modification where there has been a substantial change to the parent’s income or a child’s needs. Modifications are done through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) or the court.

Obtaining a CSEA Child Support Review and Adjustment

To obtain an administrative review of a child support order through the CSEA, it must have been 36 months since the child support obligation was ordered unless there was a specific change in circumstances.

Early administrative reviews (less than 36 months since the order) may be considered if:

  • A parent has been unemployed or laid off (through no fault of their own) for at least 30 consecutive days;
  • There has been a permanent disability reducing earning ability;
  • Incarceration or institutionalization;
  • Income is below the federal poverty level;
  • Active military service; and
  • There has been a 30% decrease in gross income for a period of 6 months or more that you expect to continue due to circumstances beyond your control.

Contact our office for assistance if you want an administrative review and adjustment to your CSEA child support obligation. Our Canton child support lawyers can help walk you through the process and determine whether you may qualify for a modification based on your circumstances.

Obtaining a Court-Ordered Child Support Modification

You may also obtain a modification through a court order. To be successful, a person must show that there has been a “substantial change of circumstances” not originally contemplated when the order was originally entered. It is in your best interest to consult with a Canton child support lawyer before filing a request for modification from the court or an administrative review through the CSEA.

Terminating a Child Support Order

Under Section 3119.88 of the Ohio Revised Code, a child support order should be terminated through the administrative process under several circumstances, including that they have reached 18 years of age. However, a child support order may contain terms that must be satisfied before the obligation ends, such as that they must complete high school.

Situations in which a child support order may terminate include (but are not limited to) if the child:

  • Has reached the age of majority (18) and is no longer attending an accredited high school on a full-time basis;
  • Has died;
  • Gets married;
  • Emancipates;
  • Enlists in the armed services;
  • Is deported;
  • Has legal custody changed, or
  • Is adopted;

To terminate child support obligations, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney. A Canton child support lawyer can help you understand how to obtain the termination and file the appropriate paperwork with the court or agency.

Contact Our Office for a Confidential Consultation

Are you seeking to establish or modify child support obligations in Canton, OH? Contact Slater & Zurz for a no-pressure consultation to discuss your legal rights.

We have over a century of collective experience helping individuals protect their children’s right to financial support. Our award-winning canton family law attorneys are compassionate, honest, and hardworking. We will work tirelessly to obtain a favorable solution for you and your family. Call (330) 968-2547 to get started.