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Newark OH Divorce Law Blog

How do Ohio courts determine child support?

Child support laws can be quite complicated, and this is even more true when one considers the fact that these laws vary by state. Ohio statute is very clear on the amount of child support that must be paid, but the law still contains several nuances that can affect this amount. Some situations, for instance, could lead to a parent paying child support past the child reaching the age of 18.

When determining the amount of child support that a parent will have to pay in Ohio, the courts first combine the incomes of both parents. This sum is then taken and compared to a chart used across the state that will reveal, based on their combined income, the financial support necessary between both parents to care for the child. The courts will then look at what percentage of the combined total income each parent earns, and the paying parent's percentage then becomes his or her child support obligation.

How a child custody ruling is made in Ohio

Under Ohio law, a court may give parental responsibilities to either one or both parents after a divorce or annulment. Legal custody will be given to one parent if neither parent makes a request for shared custody and/or it would not be in the child's best interest for the parents to share legal custody. However, shared custody is possible if both parents agree to it and it is in the best interest of the child.

Most child custody orders will allow the nonresident parent to have continuing contact with the child. In both shared and sole parenting orders, the court will also take into account the responsibilities of the nonresident parent to provide care and support for the child. During a child custody case, the court takes several steps to ensure that the child's best interests are being taken into consideration.

What property is subject to division in a divorce?

When a couple divorces, Ohio courts will divide property equitably between the two. Equitable division does not necessarily mean all property will be divided equally, however. Nor does it mean that one party who made a higher income will necessarily get a greater proportional percentage of acquired property.

Ohio law outlines the types of property subject to division during a divorce. Separate property, or property owned prior to the marriage, remains with the party who brought it with them. Separate property also includes an inheritance one spouse received during the marriage. Other examples of separate property include real estate one party owned prior to the marriage, awards received by one spouse for compensation for personal injury, real property purchased by one spouse after the filing of a legal separation and gifts of real or personal property meant for the benefit of only one spouse.

What is a cash medical support order?

A cash medical support order is required by law in Ohio when a health care plan is not provided by either divorced parent for a child. There are a few different reasons why this may happen. First, a parent may not comply with a child support order requiring him or her to provide health insurance. Second, there may not be an affordable option available. Any option exceeding 5 percent of a parent's gross income is not considered to be affordable. Finally, the health insurance may no longer be provided due to job loss or another unforeseen event.

In all of the above cases, a cash medical support order is added to the child support order. This will ensure that the child's uncovered medical costs are paid in the event that they are uncovered by a private plan. The costs could be covered by one or both parents or even a third-party individual or agency.

Overview of domestic violence

Ohio residents and people nationwide might think that domestic violence is simply physical abuse. However, domestic violence is also characterized by other behaviors. A partner might throw objects during an argument or threaten a pet. An angry significant other could destroy property like valuable or sentimental objects. Despite the fact that these actions do not involve physical contact with a partner, they carry a clear message to those on the receiving end of them.

Acts of anger can increase in severity and lead to violence. If allowed to continue their behavior, abusive partners become more dangerous to their significant others and themselves. Four women are killed daily by former partners according to the FBI. Additionally, 5.5 percent of male victims of homicide were killed by a spouse, ex-spouse or significant other according to a 2004 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Ohio domestic violence laws

Ohio residents who have suffered abuse at the hands of a relative, current or former partner or roommate may be interested in domestic violence laws. The term "domestic violence" applies to any act of physical violence or harmful touching. Some examples including hitting, punching, shoving, sexual assault, stopping a person from leaving or otherwise restraining the person's freedom of movement, or pointing a weapon at someone. The individuals involved do not need to be in a romantic relationship if they are otherwise related or have a child together. Any person who experiences any of these behaviors may file a police report.

Domestic violence does not need to leave visible injuries and occurs even when the victim does not need medical attention. A person can file a report even if the other person did not make physical contact, as attempting threatening force can also constitute domestic violence. Any person who violates the applicable laws may be subject to criminal penalties.

Child support growth in Ohio

Child support laws and strategies have changed dramatically in Ohio over the years. Prior to 1992, the state was one of the worst performing states when it came to child support collection. The state was then focused solely on getting collections to reimburse the state for expenses related to public assistance programs. After 1992, Ohio began shifting its view of the entire child support collection process. Higher standards and better tools were adopted for collecting child support, and new regulations ensured that the highest possible amounts of support were sought for most cases.

The state recognized that many willing parents face multiple barriers to providing the necessary payments. Common issues include mental or physical handicaps that prevent the parent from understanding how to make payments or being able to make them. Many parents are also simply unable to pay the requested amount, often because they cannot secure employment. Under threats of jail time and other serious consequences, some are driven to hide from the system rather than work with it.

Child custody should be mutually beneficial

When it comes to child custody after a relationship comes to an end, it is not uncommon for both parents to be concerned about how much time they will be able to spend with their child or children.

During the divorce process, for example, you will discuss a variety of details, many of which will revolve around child custody, including which parent has physical custody and how often the other parent will be able to visit with the child.

Pets, property division, and co-ownership

Any of our Ohio readers who are going through divorce realize that there are many steps that must be taken. Those who have finished this process are aware of how stressful it can be, especially when it comes to property division.

Many couples have children to take into consideration during a divorce. This brings a variety of issues to light, including questions surrounding child support and child custody.

Ohio child support payments behind rest of states

It has been more than 20 years since the state of Ohio has made updates to its child support guidelines. While this may not sound like a long time, it has a negative impact on children, as they receive a minimum of 13 percent less than suggested by the federal government. This is not a problem in many other states throughout the country.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services deputy director of child support hopes new legislation to change the guidelines will come to light once the November election comes and goes. Unfortunately, past efforts to make changes have not gone very far, thus leading to the current situation.

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The office of Carl McCoy, Attorney at Law, in Newark, Ohio, serves residents throughout central Ohio, including residents of Alexandria, Pataskala, Etna Township, Buckeye Lake, Johnstown, St. Louisville, Coshocton, Granville, Heath, Hebron, Kirkersville, Hanover, New Albany, Reynoldsburg and Zanesville. We assist residents of all cities and towns in Licking County, Coshocton County, Knox County, Perry County and Muskingum County.