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How Is Child Support Determined?

In 1998, the NCAA implemented a new system to determine a national champion in football. Rather than a bowl system that rarely produced a matchup of the top two teams due to conference affiliations, the BCS combined the AP and Coaches’ poll with a series of computer-generated rankings based on different formulas to determine a final ranking. The top two teams in the BCS rankings played in the championship game at the end of the year. This caused quite the controversy as people debated about what criteria should be factored into these different formulas, with many calling for the confusing and mysterious computer rankings to be done away with altogether. Ultimately it was, and a new system was implemented this season.

When it comes to determining child support, it can often feel like the BCS system. In the state of Ohio, there is a formula, and all of these facts and figures are entered into the formula which ultimately comes up a number. That number is then applied to a chart, and you pay a percentage of the number on the chart based on your percentage of the combined gross household income. Sound complicated and confusing? It certainly can be.

The Formula

So what all goes into the formula? Here’s a list of some of the things that are factored in:

  • Your gross annual income
  • The gross annual income of your spouse
  • Local income tax paid
  • Child support and spousal support payments from a previous marriage
  • Automatic tax deductions for each child ($3950 in 2014)
  • Spousal support being paid from one party to the other
  • Childcare costs for work or education purposes
  • Health insurance costs

Once they calculate all of this, there is a chart that determines how much it costs to raise each child. Then it is determined how much each parent is responsible for. For example, if one parent makes $80,000 and the other parent makes $20,000, then the first parent will be responsible for paying 80% of the number on the chart.

The Cap

The formula only applies to households whose combined annual gross annual income is less than $150,000. After that, it gets a little fuzzy. Courts offer extended guidelines to fit household incomes of over $150,000, but there are alternatives.

If you are in the process of determining child support, you need a child support lawyer that you can trust. At the law offices of William L. Geary, we have been helping people with child support cases for over 30 years. We can help come up with creative solutions to the Ohio state guidelines to ensure that everyone takes care of your children and no one takes advantage of you. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, contact us today.