Earlier this year, Ohio updated its child support laws for the first time since 1992. The new law took effect on March 28th, 2019, with the approval of House Bill 366. Among other changes, the bill altered how the amount of child support is calculated and adjusted the minimum amount a parent must pay. Some highlights include:
- Child support calculations are now based on both gross income and imputed income. Imputed income is the value of any services or benefits employers give employees.
- A new “self-sufficiency reserve” allows for some people whose income is below 116% of the federal poverty level to pay less in child support.
- The standard minimum monthly payment increased from $50 to $80 a month.
- The court will reduce an annual child support obligation by 10% if the person ordered to pay child support has the child for over 90 nights (about every other weekend and one night per week). The 10% decrease can be eliminated if the parent does not actually care for the child at least 90 nights.
- Orders for multiple children will no longer be designed so that the first support order is automatically higher than subsequent orders.
- Child support guidelines will be reviewed at least once every four years for needed changes, but can be reviewed more often.
The new law also states that obligors (people obliged to pay child support) can ask the Office of Child Support Services to start the process of modifying the amount he or she must pay on debts owed for a child who is now an adult. Additionally, obligors who receive both SSI and SSDI should ask OCSS for a modification.
The changes do not automatically apply to existing orders. However, the changes will apply to all cases filed after March 28th, 2019.
This article was written by Jenna Bird and appeared in The Alert: Volume 35, Issue 2.