Areas of Focus

Child Support Matters

A Better Approach to Family Law
Financial Plans for Children

When your family structure is changing, it is important to make provisions for the financial support of your children. The amount of support is calculated by a worksheet, but there is a lot of room for interpretation of exactly what numbers should go into the formula. We are dedicated to digging deeply into the issues in order to obtain a positive result for you. Part of this is done through the determination of income.

What Is Income?

There are many provisions in the Ohio Revised Code devoted to defining income. Your pay stub is not the sole means of defining gross income. Income also includes your earning potential. For example, if you are a physician, but you are currently working at a lower income job, the court can impute income to you. Based on your earning potential, it might be more appropriate and in the best interests of your children to use an income of $200,000 instead of the $20,000 in wages you are currently earning.

What Is Reasonable?

Is it reasonable to expect someone to pay $8,000 in child care expenses when that person's income is only $10,000 per year? The same argument can be made concerning health care expenses and education expenses. Orders are also made in regard to health care premiums and non-covered expenses, such as orthodontia, psychological and dental needs. Additionally, the schedule that helps parents determine child support tops out at a certain level. Parents with a high income need an Ohio family law lawyer to help them determine an appropriate level of support since this is done on a case-by-case basis.

The court does not have to follow the formula set forth in the guidelines. We will explore options for deviating from the guidelines for reasons such as the sharing of child-related expenses, parenting time allocation, court-ordered payments, extraordinary medical expenses or parenting time travel expenses.

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Attorney Christopher Coleridge represents clients in Northeast Ohio including Canton, North Canton, Akron, Massillon, Alliance, Carrollton, New Philadelphia, Barberton, Stark County, Summit County, Tuscarawas County, Wayne County, and Carroll County.