The question of how much a parent may pay (or receive) in child support is a common question in Ohio divorces, as well as custody disputes (for unmarried couples with children). Through this post, we will give a basic primer on how child support is calculated.
A support obligation is determined by a formula that combines both parents’ gross incomes, which can include wages from employment, Social Security benefits and unemployment compensation. Certain deductions are allowed from each parent’s gross income, such as income tax paid and deductions. Other deductions include child support and spousal support paid through other court ordered obligations.
After all applicable deductions are applied, the adjusted incomes are applied to a formula that corresponds to the amount of support required to raise children given their parents’ incomes (i.e. the guideline support amount). The parent who will be ordered to pay support will pay a pro-rated amount of the guideline amount. For example, if dad makes $55,000 per year, and mom makes $43,000 per year, the combined income would be $98,000 or $8166 per month. This would call for $7200 per year in child support according to the guidelines. As such, dad would likely pay $4032 per year in support because he makes 56 percent of the combined income.
Indeed, this calculation is only a rough estimate, and does not account for the deductions and allowances we discussed earlier. It also does not consider medical expenses and child care costs that parents commonly must account for. As such, the preceding should not be construed as legal advice, as your individual circumstances may be different.
For more information about support obligations, contact an experienced family law attorney.