In Ohio, guideline child support serves the basic needs of the child in the recipient’s home. That is food, shelter and clothing. Generally, the cost of extracurricular activities, sports equipment, travel for teams, lessons and so forth is not included in basic child support.
The Ohio child support guidelines worksheet includes consideration of additional children, overnight parenting, the cost of health and dental insurance (but not vision coverage) and the cost of work-related childcare.
Something called “Cash Medical Support” is also part of the guidelines. The Child Support Manual, available on-line from the Department of Jobs and Family Services or from your Family Law Software professional, provides:
Each parent will be responsible for a cash medical obligation to be applied towards ordinary medical expenses for the child(ren) of the order in each household. The annual cash medical amount is $388.70 per child for each child of the order. Any medical expenses over $388.70 per year will be considered extraordinary medical expenses.
Most practitioners agree to deviate cash medical to zero and have the parents share in out-of-pocket medical expenses from dollar one in proportion to their incomes on Line 17 of the guidelines worksheet.
Families approach the expenses not covered by the guidelines in many ways. Sometimes one parent assumes full responsibility. Sometimes they split the cost equally and sometimes in proportions to income on line 17 of the child support guidelines. Innovative families might contribute to an account used solely for extra-curricular purposes and, eventually, as a debit card for teenagers. Collaborative Law or Mediation are the best way to address creative solutions because court decisions will probably not be a perfect fit for every family. The big-ticket items like summer camp, a car with insurance, and private school tuition are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and the solutions are limited only by the parent’s imaginations. Subsections 12 and 14 of the child support deviation statute (O.R.C. §3119.23) specifically allow for deviations in cases where a parent is supporting a child in college or in cases where, had the marriage continued, private school would also have continued. Keep in mind that these deviation factors can work two ways, either to increase or decrease the calculated amount of child support.
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John D. Zoller JD, CDFA