Establishing an Order for Support

So long as paternity is legally established, and there is no existing court order to the contrary, the CSEA can assist you in pursuing a child support order.  The CSEA also establishes and enforces orders for parents to obtain and maintain health insurance coverage for the children.

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What happens at the Administrative Hearing for Support?

  • The Administrative Hearing process is voluntary and requires the participation and presence of both parties.  Administrative Hearings are presently conducted via telephone.  During the Administrative Hearing, so long as both parties are present via telephone, the Hearing Officer will collect income information and ask questions related to the Child Support Worksheet. The Administrative Hearing Officer will explain the amount of support to be ordered and medical order information. If the party is unemployed, the Administrative Hearing Officer will impute income. An Administrative Order will be issued. Each party has objection rights to the Administrative Order. The CSEA does not have the authority to deviate from the child support guidelines, to issue any orders with respect to parenting time, or to allocate the tax exemption. These matters will not be addressed at the hearing.

How is the amount of child support determined? 

  • The State of Ohio Child Support Calculator, which incorporates the Ohio Child Support Guidelines, can be found here Guideline Calculator.

  • What are the child support guidelines?  

    Ohio Revised Code sections 3119.01 - 3119.022 establish the guidelines for the calculation of child support in the State of Ohio.  The child support guidelines are the standard method for setting the amount of the child support and cash medical support obligations in the child support order. The guidelines use a mathematical formula based on the combined income of the parents and other factors, such as any social security benefits the child is receiving on behalf of one of the parents.   

    Are both parents' income considered when setting support?  


    Will the guidelines make any adjustments to my support amount if I have other children?  

    Yes, the guidelines include an adjustment for a biological or adopted child you have from another relationship.   

    Do the guidelines give any credit to a parent who is paying for child care?  

    Yes, the guidelines provide a credit for the child care expenses necessary to allow a parent to work, or for activities related to employment training (see ORC 31190.5(0)(1)(a))for the child in the child support order to the parent that is paying for the child care.   

    Do the guidelines give any credit to the parent who has to pay health insurance?  

    Yes, the parent(s) ordered to provide health insurance coverage for the child(ren) subject to the child support order receives a credit for the parent's total, out-of-pocket costs of providing the coverage less any subsidy, including a premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction received by the parent(s) providing coverage.   

    What if my child is receiving social security benefits on behalf of the obligor?  

    If the child is receiving social security benefits on behalf of the obligor, and this has not been included in the guidelines, then the obligor should ask for an administrative review and adjustment of the support order to get credit for this amount. The support obligation amount will be reduced by the amount of benefits the child receives on behalf of the obligor. NOTE: If the obligor is disabled and receiving social security benefits and the child is not receiving social security benefits paid on the parent's behalf, contact the Social Security Administration to determine if the child is eligible for benefits. 

Do the Child Support Guidelines factor in bills such as rent, mortgage, credit cards, clothing expenses, etc?

  • These amounts are not included on the Ohio Child Support Guidelines worksheet. The Child Support Guidelines tables were developed using cost of living studies and include information about typical living expenses. The Administrative Hearing Officer is required to follow the Ohio Child Support Guidelines and is not permitted to deviate. The Courts have discretion in deviating from the Ohio Child Support Guideline formula.  Deviational factors can be found in Ohio Revised Code Section 3119.23. If you disagree with the Administrative Order the CSEA has issued you have the right to object and request a court hearing. 

Whose income is considered when calculating child support?

  • Only the incomes of the parents are considered when calculating child support. The only exception to this is when both parents are minors, in which the incomes of the grandparents may be considered.

Will my child support order be retroactively dated?

  • By law, a child support order finalized via an Administrative Hearing will begin 14 days from the date of the Administrative Hearing.   Parties may object to the effective date and request a court hearing.  

  • A child support order established, approved, or finalized via a Court Hearing may be subject to retroactivity as the Court has more discretion regarding an effective date.