Give Your Children the Support They Need

Retain a Child Support Attorney in Columbus, OH

You children shouldn't have to suffer because of your divorce. Ensure that they have the financial support they need to by hiring a child support attorney. Residents of Columbus, OH turn to Dougherty, Hanneman & Piccin, LLC when they need assistance with child support negotiations. Your attorney will make sure your children's needs are taken into account.

As a single parent, you deserve financial support. Call 614-932-5000 now to schedule a consultation with a child support attorney.

Are you entitled to spousal support?

If your spouse is the primary breadwinner, getting divorced could leave you in a tight spot financially. You shouldn't have to struggle just to make ends meet. A spousal support attorney can fight for financial support on your behalf. Our legal team is prepared to address all of your questions about spousal support.


we can run new calculations for you to see if your child support should go up or down.
Changes in 2019 that will affect your child support

New child support worksheet
New updated child support tables (which determines the amount of child support is paid by parents)
Automatic 10% adjustment downward in child support for parents exercising over 90 nights of parenting time
Larger credits for parents who support other children from different relationships
Work related child-care expenses paid by parents are capped at a reasonable amount
Health insurance premium expenses paid by parents are treated more fairly

Columbus Child Support Lawyer

In every case involving a minor child, the parents or the court must decide if any child support will be paid and, if child support will be paid, how much child support will be paid. In many cases, computation of child support is simple. However, many exceptions exist regarding the general rules.

Definition of "Child"

Generally, child support is only paid for a child under the age of eighteen. However, child support may also be paid for a child who is eighteen years old but has not yet graduated from high school.

If a child is handicapped, a court may order that child support be paid after the child's eighteenth birthday. Generally, the handicap must be so severe that it prevents the child from obtaining meaningful employment.

General Procedure

Generally, a two-step procedure is used to address child support. First, a parent's presumptive child support obligation is determined using a mathematical formula. Second, various factors are considered to determine if the final child support amount should be higher or lower than the presumptive amount. These steps are explained further below.

Step One - The Mathematical Formula

The basic child support formula considers several factors. These factors include the following.
The number of children
The number of parent's other children (not part of this child support case)
Each parent's actual income
Each parent's imputed income
The cost of health insurance
The cost of work-related childcare expenses
Number of nights a child stays with each parent
After the relevant information is obtained, the formula is applied. The formula determines which parent shall pay child support and the presumptive amount of child support the parent shall pay.

Child Support Worksheet

The child support formula discussed above is contained in a document called a child support worksheet. When determining child support, a child support worksheet must be prepared.

Actual Income

In determining child support, a parent's actual income must be considered. Actual income includes the following,
Salaries, wages, overtime, bonuses, commissions, and tips
Rents and royalties
Dividends and interest
Annuities, social security, retirement, disability
Worker's compensation and unemployment
Actual income does not include any of the following,
Benefits received from any means tested governmental programs (Ohio works first, supplemental social security income, and others)
Benefits for any service connected disability
Child support received for other children not a part of this matter
Amounts paid for mandatory deductions from wages (union dues) but not taxes
Nonrecurring or unsustainable income
Adoption assistance or foster care maintenance payments

Earning Ability

If a parent is unemployed or underemployed, the parent's earning ability must be considered. Earning ability is income that a parent could earn if the parent attempted to seek appropriate employment.
Earning ability income can be overly complicated. In many cases, expert witnesses are hired to testify regarding the amount of income that a parent could earn.

In determining a parent's earning ability, the following factors must be considered.
The parent's prior employment
The parent's education
The parent's physical and mental condition
The jobs available to the parent in their geographic area of residence
The income the jobs would pay
The parent's special skills and training
Evidence the parent has the ability to earn the imputed income
The age and special needs of the children
The parent's increased earning capacity due to experience
The parent's decreased earning capacity due to felony conviction
Any other relevant factor

Work related childcare expenses

The court will include a parent's childcare expenses in the child support worksheet. The childcare expenses are capped based on the age of a child as follows:
Age 0 to 17 months = $11,464 per year
Age 18 months to 35 months = $10,025 per year
3 years to 5 years = $8,600 per year
6 years to 12 years - $7,290 per year

Health insurance premium expense

The court will include a parent's health insurance premium expense paid by the parent providing health insurance for the children in the child support worksheet. The entire premium expense is included in the worksheet. However, the premium expense will be adjusted by the number of persons covered under the health insurance plan.

Cash medical obligation

Each parent is responsible for a cash medical obligation to be applied towards ordinary medical expenses for the children of the order. The cash medical obligation is set by statute at $388.70 per child, per year.

The child support payor pays their cash medical obligation as additional child support to the child support payee. The child support payee is then responsible to pay the first $388.70 in uncovered medical expenses per child, per year.

For uncovered medical expenses above the first $388.70 per child, per year, the court will allocate those expenses between the two parents. For example, each parent may pay 50% of any uncovered medical expenses.

Parenting Time Adjustment

The child support payor receives an automatic 10% adjustment downward in child support if the parent is granted more than 90 nights of parenting time per year with the minor children.

Step Two - Deviation Analysis

After a parent's presumptive child support obligation is determined, the parties or the court must determine if the presumptive child support amount is appropriate in this specific case.

The child support payor frequently argues that the presumptive child support amount is too high and that a downward deviation should be granted. Similar, the child support payee frequently argues that the presumptive child support amount is too low and that an upward deviation should be granted.

In determining if an upward or downward deviation from the presumptive obligation should be granted, various factors may be considered. These factors include the following.
Special and unusual needs of the children, including needs arising from the physical or psychological condition of the children;
Other court-ordered payments;
Extended parenting time or extraordinary costs associated with parenting time, including extraordinary travel expenses when exchanging the children for parenting time;
As stated above, the child support payor receives an automatic 10% adjustment downward in child support if the parent is granted more than 90 nights of parenting time per year with the minor children.

For parents exercising more than 147 nights of parenting time per year with the minor children, the court has the discretion to grant a larger adjustment downward in child support.
The relative financial resources, including the disparity in income between parties or households, other assets, and the needs of each parent;
Benefits that either parent receives from remarriage or sharing living expenses with another person;
Significant in-kind contributions from a parent, including, but not limited to, direct payment for lessons, sports equipment, schooling, or clothing;
Post-secondary educational expenses paid for by a parent for the parent's own child or children, regardless of whether the child or children are emancipated;
Any several other factors.

Withholding Orders

After a court determines a parent's child support obligation, the court issues a withholding order regarding the obligation. The withholding order is sent to a non-party, generally an employer or a bank.

If the parent is employed, a withholding order is sent to the parent's employer. The employer withholds the child support from the parent's paycheck. If the parent is not employed, the withholding is sent to the parent's bank. The bank withholds the child support from the parent's bank account.

The parent's employer or bank sends the child support, plus processing charge, to the state child support agency. The state child support agency makes a record of the payment, keeps the processing charge, and forwards the child support to the other parent.

Shared Parenting Cases

Determination of child support in a shared parenting case can be very difficult. The law is unclear regarding how child support should be determined in these cases. Many different approaches are used throughout the state of Ohio.
In many shared parenting cases, the parents will have equal time with the children. In equal time cases, the child support payor will almost always be ordered to pay an amount of child support smaller than the presumptive amount. However, courts vary regarding how the downward deviation should be determined.
A court may grant a deviation in child support based on any of the reasons listed above. In addition, in shared parenting cases the court may also grant a deviation based on the following additional factors:
The ability of each parent to maintain adequate housing for the children;
Each parent's expenses, including childcare expenses, school tuition, medical expenses, dental expenses, and any other expenses the court considers relevant;
Any other circumstances the court considers relevant.

High Income Cases

A high-income child support case is a case in which the parents have a combined total income of $336,000 or more per year. Special rules apply in these cases. Courts vary on how these rules should be applied.

In some counties, a court will presume that a parent should not pay greater than a certain amount of child support regardless of that parent's income. However, in other counties, courts will automatically order larger child support payments as a parent's income increases.

Low Income Cases

Special rules also apply in low income cases. Generally, a court will not allow a parent to pay child support of less than $80.00 per month. However, if special circumstances are present, a parent may be required to pay nothing.

Success Stories

The DHP law firm attorneys have produced successful outcomes for many family law clients. Please click here to read about success stories that reflect various family law issues. Perhaps you will see your marital issues reflected in one or more of these brief stories.

Contact Us

Contact DHP for a free confidential consultation with one of our attorneys. We can give you information about your specific rights and options.

Our firm has 4 attorneys who are Certified Specialists in Family Relations Law. No other law firm in Central Ohio has more Certified Specialists.

Fewer than 1% of all attorneys in Ohio have earned the Certified Specialist designation.

DHP is located in a safe and convenient suburban location with free on-site parking. We are located within minutes of Upper Arlington, Hilliard, Dublin, Worthington, and Northwest Columbus.
3010 Hayden Road
Next to Bravo restaurant

From Hayden Road, turn onto Donnylane Boulevard. Turn right at the first driveway. The main entrance to our building is adjacent to the parking lot.