A gavel with a piece of paper on it. The paper reads "child support."

Calculating Child Support in Ohio

How Are Payments Determined?

Child support can be a contentious topic in a divorce, yet it’s important to come to a payment that serves the best interests of the child who will benefit from these payments. Some people worry, however, that the court is going to take a majority of their income for the child, leaving them next to nothing to live off of.

Here is what you should know about how child support payments are calculated in Ohio. Know that each person’s case will be different; therefore, this blog will use the guideline support formula in its examples and calculations.

A Brief Overview of the Formula

Estimating your child support payments works efficiently when paired with the child support formula. While the official worksheet should be used for cases, this formula can give you a similar estimation.

The first step in calculating child support is to determine your monthly gross income. This number is calculated by adding your monthly taxable earnings from your income, Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, or other sources of income. Once you’ve determined your personal monthly gross income, add that with the monthly gross income of the other parent.

Once this total monthly gross income is calculated, the next step is to estimate the combined child support obligation using Ohio’s child support calculation chart. Your number will correlate with the range that your total monthly gross income falls within (note that this step allows you to determine your child support amounts if multiple children are involved).

You should then divide each parent’s monthly gross income by the total monthly gross income in order to calculate each parent’s percentage of the total monthly gross income. To simplify the percentage, round your result to the nearest two decimal places. This percentage is proportionate to how much each parent will be responsible for in terms of child support.

When this percentage is calculated, multiply it by the combined child support obligation you determined earlier and round that result to the nearest dollar. The final number is an estimated monthly child support obligation. At this time, there may be additional steps to include, such as medical support or parenting time, but the presence of this depends on each case.

Note that the residential parent (or parent with whom the child lives) does not make payments to the nonresidential parent; the law assumes that the residential parent meets their child support obligations during their time with the child. More often than not, the nonresidential parent is the one making payments to the other parent.

A Very Basic Example of the Estimated Child Support Calculator

Cindy and Brad are getting a divorce and have one child. Cindy will be the residential parent. Taking salary and other sources of income into account, they determine that Cindy makes $4000 monthly and Brad makes $6000 monthly, giving them a total monthly gross income of $10,000.

Cindy and Brad look at the child support calculation chart to find where their total monthly income falls. They find that their range means their child support obligation amount is $1585.71 per month. They then find their individual percentages of the monthly income, meaning Cindy is responsible for 40% and Brad is responsible for 60%.

Finally, to estimate each party’s child support obligation, they multiply their individual percentages by the child support obligation. Based on this math, it can be determined that Cindy is responsible for $634.28 (an obligation she meets as the residential parent), and Brad will be responsible for $951.43 per month.

Again, keep in mind that this example is calculated using the guideline support formula, which can only be used to estimate monthly child support payments. In order to calculate an official total, use the child support worksheet for sole/shared custody.

Do You Have Questions About Child Support?

Child support can be complex, especially as more children are involved in the divorce. Rather than deal with confusion, it’s important to get your questions answered by an attorney who can help you determine your best course of action. At The Law Offices of LeeDaun C. Williams LLC, our team is committed to helping you achieve the best possible outcome for both you and your child.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, call us at (216) 350-8511 or visit us online.