Establishing an Order for Support

Upon establishing paternity, or upon the absence of a parent from the home,the CSEA can assist you in obtaining a 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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How does the caseworker find out about the other parent's income or assets?

  • The CSEA caseworker will conduct a pre-administrative hearing interview to identify the parent's employment and any other sources of income. The CSEA may need to impute potential income under certain circumstances. In addition, the CSEA may be able to verify income by accessing some governmental databases.

What happens at the administrative hearing for support?

  • If both parties are present at the hearing, the Administrative Hearing Officer will go over the income information and ask questions related to the Child Support Worksheet. The Administrative Hearing Officer will run the worksheet and will clearly explain the amount of support to be ordered and medical order information. If the party is unemployed, the Administrative Hearing Officer may choose to issue a Seek Work Order. An Administrative Order will be sent. 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 support determined?

  • The law requires all orders for support to be calculated using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines. The Ohio Support Guidelines and Worksheet can be found in the Ohio Revised Code 3119.01. The Administrative Hearing Officer will use the Ohio Child Support Guidelines and Worksheet to calculate the amount of support to be ordered. Parties will be asked to provide verification of all relevant information including income information, proof of health insurance costs and availability, and childcare costs. A more specific list of requested information will be sent to each party before the hearing.


Does the Worksheet factor in bills such as rent, mortgage, credit cards, clothing expenses, etc?

  • The answer to this question is generally no. 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 Worksheet and is not permitted to deviate. Generally, the courts have a greater discretion in deviating from the Ohio Child Support Guideline and Worksheet formula. If you disagree with the Administrative Order that the CSEA has issued you have the right to object.


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.

What if one or both of the parties are unemployed at the time the order is being established?

  • The Administrative Hearing Officer has discretion with this matter. The Hearing Officer may choose to impute income to either or both parties and calculate support based on that information. The Administrative Hearing Officer may also choose to issue a Seek Work Order, which orders individuals to appear at Workforce One on a specific date and time until employment is secured.


Will the Administrative Hearing Officer retroactively order child support?

  • The answer to this question is no. It is the standard practice of the CSEA Hearing Officer to set the effective date the same date as the Administrative Hearing. Parties are free to seek legal counsel to pursue this request further.

Child Support Calculator

Knowledge of the financial circumstances of both parties as well as an understanding of Ohio family law and Ohio and federal tax law is necessary to complete the worksheet with complete accuracy. A court, attorney, or child support enforcement agency may have a different interpretation of the specific enterable data for this worksheet, as there can be a degree of subjectivity. If you have questions about child support or the Ohio child support guidelines, you should consider contacting an attorney.