When parents in Ohio get a divorce, they may negotiate an agreement for child support. If they are unable to agree, a judge could decide what the amount will be. In general, child support takes income and other factors into account, such as how much each parent contributes to the child's health care. However, there are a few general principles parents should keep in mind when considering child support.
It's important to remember that child support can always be modified. For example, a parent may lose a job, get sick or have another change in circumstances that means child support payments must be changed as well. This generally requires a return to court. Spousal support payments are usually lowered alongside child support payments.
People should also be aware that the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act means there are no tax implications related to child support. It cannot be claimed or deducted on taxes. However, there are tax implications for the parent who claims the child as a dependent. While this is usually the custodial parent, exes who share custody may have different ways of working this out. For example, they could alternate years claiming the child.
Even if parents make an agreement about child support, alimony and custody between themselves, formalizing it legally during the divorce process can provide important protection. If one parent does not pay the agreed-upon child support, legal action may be necessary. An attorney could help a custodial parent get the support payments they are owed. Alternatively, legal counsel could help a payer obtain a child support modification.