child support
  Can my Child Support be changed?

The Wood County CSEA can assist individuals requesting a modification or recalculation of their child support orders if the individual has applied and been approved for child support services.

The requesting party must complete an Application for Administrative Modification and provide proof that one of the following circumstances exists:

  • It has been 3 years or 36 months since the support order amount was set.
  • If it has not been 3 years, certain circumstances may allow a review.

These circumstances for review include the following:

  • A loss of employment that has lasted for at least 6 months, is expected to continue and is as a result of a non-voluntary action.
  • A 30% change in income on the part of either party that has lasted for a period of 6 months and is expected to continue. Voluntarily quitting a job or reducing hours is not an eligible circumstance.
  • A change in the cost of health insurance premium only for the children in the case and you are the party court-ordered to carry the insurance coverage on the children.
  • A change in the number of children in your case; e.g., a child has emancipated and the emancipation process is complete.
  • If either party was placed at minimum wage income and that individual is now earning at a wage higher than minimum wage.
  Who can request a review?

A review may be requested by either parent and must always be in writing. Within 15 days of the request, the Child Support Enforcement Agency will determine whether a review should be conducted.

The parent requesting the review will be notified if the review will not be conducted and the reason why.

  How will I know if my case is eligible?

If you have requested a review and your case is eligible for review, both parties will be sent financial information packets. Both parties have 45 days to complete and mail their packets back to the Agency.

If the parent requesting the review fails to respond within the 45-day limit, the review shall be terminated for non-cooperation. However, the review cannot be terminated by the requesting parent on or after the date the review was scheduled to occur. The revised order shall be included in an Administrative Adjustment Recommendation.

The support amount shall not be changed unless it varies more than 10% from the current order. The recommendation shall include a notice that either party may request an administrative hearing within 30 days of the date of the adjustment, if they do not agree with the adjustment.

If either party still disagrees, they have the right to request an administrative hearing. If no hearing is requested, the revised amount of support will be submitted to the court.

  How is the amount of Child Support calculated?

In order to establish consistency in the amount of child support orders, the federal government requires child support guidelines to be used by states.

Ohio utilizes what is known as the income shares model. The income shares model calculates a child support order by considering the income of both parents and the standard of living that a child would experience if the parents were in the same household. The percentage of the combined income that each parent contributes helps determine the amount obligated in the support order. The obligor is ordered to pay to the obligee his or her proportional share of child support.

Essentially, the income shares model assumes that parents of a child should share in the responsibility for the financial support of children in proportion to their income.

  What income is considered in the calculations for Child Support?

Ohio’s model utilizes gross income figures from both parents in its calculation process. Gross income is defined as all earned and unearned income from all sources during a calendar year.

Examples of items included in gross income are salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, tips, overtime, bonuses, rental income, dividends, interest, trust income, annuities, unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation, disability income, military pay, self-generated income, earned income credits, and other income.

  Is it possible to deviate from these guidelines?

Only courts have the authority to deviate from the guidelines. Courts may deviate if a party to a case presents clear and convincing evidence, based on factors listed in the law, that the child support calculation using the worksheets and schedules is “unjust, inappropriate, and not in the best interest of the child.”

Some examples of deviation factors include special and unusual needs of the child, extraordinary obligations for a child with disabilities, other court ordered payments, extended parenting time or extraordinary costs associated with parenting time, the earning capacity of a child, the physical and emotional needs of a child, and other relevant factors.

  Are obligees required to demonstrate how child support is utilized?
  While the financial responsibility of both parents is included in the income shares model, obligees are not required to file financial reports or receipts to document the use of child support. There are arguments for and against specific accounting.
  What are the possible outcomes of a review?

A review could result in an increase, decrease, or no change at all to the present child support order. Wood County CSEA requires the appropriate documentation along with a Support Review Request be provided when asking for a review.

Failure to provide the required documentation will result in a denial of your request if it has not been 36 months since the last review.

  What if I disagree with the results of the review?

If an administrative hearing is to be set, the hearing shall be scheduled within 15 days after receiving the request. The parties shall be mailed a notice of the hearing at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

One good cause continuance may be granted to each party, provided the request is received prior to the hearing. However, the new hearing must be set within 15 days of the initially scheduled hearing.

  When will I receive the hearing decision?
  The decision shall be issued within 10 days of the hearing. Either party may request a court hearing by submitting a written objection to the CSEA within 15 days of the issuance of the administrative hearing decision.
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