Ohio Laws About Children in Divorce Cases

By Wayne Thomas

Settling matters related to children is an important part of the divorce process. In Ohio, a specific body of law applies to custody and child support matters. Ohio also recognizes that parents and children relocate, and has passed laws addressing when jurisdiction starts and ends. Understanding what factors a judge looks at when making custody arrangements, as well as the guidelines used for calculating support, will help minimize some of the confusion surrounding matters related to your children in Ohio.

Settling matters related to children is an important part of the divorce process. In Ohio, a specific body of law applies to custody and child support matters. Ohio also recognizes that parents and children relocate, and has passed laws addressing when jurisdiction starts and ends. Understanding what factors a judge looks at when making custody arrangements, as well as the guidelines used for calculating support, will help minimize some of the confusion surrounding matters related to your children in Ohio.

Custody

Judges in Ohio make custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. The court will look at certain factors when determining what is in the child's best interest, including the relationship of the child to each parent, mental and physical health of the parents and child, and child's adjustment to school, home and community. Custody can be either shared or awarded to one parent. By law, if one parent has been convicted of a criminal offense involving neglect or abuse of the child, this is one factor against shared custody.

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Parenting Plan

Parents are instructed to include a parenting plan with the divorce paperwork in Ohio. A parenting plan gives each parent an opportunity to propose a custody arrangement and schedule that each believes is best for the child. If the parties agree on the arrangement, they may submit a shared parenting plan. However, a judge is still required by law to review it to make sure it is not contrary to the child's needs. If provisions of the plan are found to be harmful, the judge may ask that the parties make revisions to the plan based on the court's objections.

Support

In determining child support amounts, Ohio uses a formula written into law. First, the gross income of both parents is determined and adjusted based on certain deductions, such as income taxes actually paid. Both incomes are added together and the guidelines will indicate a total support amount for the child. The individual ordered to pay support will then be required to pay the percentage of the support amount based on his percentage of the total income between parents. For example, if a father is ordered to pay support and contributes $50,000 to a combined income of $75,000, he would be responsible for 66% percent of the support amount.

Jurisdiction

Like most other states, Ohio has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act seeks to prevent multiple and conflicting custody orders across state lines and ensure that court orders are enforced. Typically, an Ohio court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination if Ohio was the home state of the child at the time of the action. For modification of a custody order, Ohio retains jurisdiction until it or another state determines that neither parent nor child continues to reside in Ohio. In addition, Ohio has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. This act gives Ohio courts continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over support orders as long as one parent or the child continues to live in the state. The law also provides Ohio with the duty to enforce orders from other states.

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Joint Custody Laws in Ohio

References

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Georgia Law for Children & Divorces

Divorce actions are personal by nature. If a couple has minor children, custody and support matters can sometimes devolve into competitive battles between parents, with little or no regard for the well-being of a child. For that reason, Georgia law requires judges to place the interests of the parents second to the needs of the child in deciding any child-related issues during a divorce.

How to Compute Child Support Payments in Michigan

Calculating child support under Michigan law can be confusing and complicated. The state uses the income shares model, meaning that child support should provide the children with the same lifestyle they had before the parents divorced. However, in Michigan, only the custodial parent receives child support. To calculate support, the state will consider the income of both parents and other factors concerning additional children, child care and medical needs. The state uses a number of formulas and calculations to take into account all the relevant factors. You may seek assistance from the state to verify your calculations.

How Does Child Support Work in a Shared Custody Arrangement in Michigan?

The Michigan divorce court will divide child custody between you and your spouse and order a child support arrangement based in part on the child custody schedule. If you and your spouse can agree on a custody split, the court can approve your agreement. Child support is also based on your income, so when your income changes dramatically or your custody schedule changes, your support amount may need adjustment.

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