When you file for divorce in Ohio, the judge typically looks at your income and other factors to figure out a fair child support payment. The state expects you to pay enough to support your child but not so much that you can’t afford basic expenses. However, the amount that you pay could change under different circumstances.
Do you have to pay more child support when you remarry?
If you remarry, the state won’t automatically expect you to pay child support. It’s likely that nothing will change if your household income doesn’t increase. However, your former spouse may request a child support modification if your household income increases significantly. This may seem unfair, but child support isn’t a tool for your former spouse to take your money. Instead, it allows your child to enjoy the same standard of living with each parent.
However, the state can’t seize your new spouse’s income if you’re behind on your child support payments. It can garnish your wages, reduce your tax refund or even send you to jail, but your spouse isn’t obligated to pay child support. Even if your spouse offers to help with the payments, that doesn’t make him or her legally responsible for your child.
If you’re paying child support, can you request a modification?
You may not be able to make child support payments if your situation changes drastically. You can’t stop making payments without getting into legal trouble, but you could petition for a child support modification.
A judge may grant your request if you experience an income decrease that wasn’t your fault. For example, you may not be eligible if you voluntarily left a high-paying job. However, you may qualify if you got laid off or suffered a severe injury. An attorney with experience in child support cases could tell you from the beginning if you qualify.