Parents are legally obligated to support their children, and this obligation continues even if a parent doesn’t live with the child. After most divorces in Ohio, one parent will have primary custody of the child, and the other will pay child support. The same is true if the parents never married.
Child support covers many different things. Our Toledo divorce lawyer looks at some of the more important below.
Children need food, clothes, electricity, clean water, transportation, and other basic necessities. Child support money goes to these things.
Of course, when calculating the amount of child support owed, a judge is not interested in looking at receipts that show how much a parent spends for these necessities. Instead, a judge basically looks at each parent’s income and the amount of time they have with the children to arrive at a number. This number represents the basic child support obligation.
The custodial parent might work, so he or she needs to pay for childcare. These expenses are not included in the basic support obligation. Instead, the child support worksheet requires information about whether either parent has out-of-pocket child care expenses. If your three-year-old goes to daycare, for example, then this is an expense a child support order can cover.
One parent should provide health insurance to a child. For example, Dad might be the custodial parent, but Mom has health insurance through her job. In this example, a judge might order Mom to carry her daughter on her policy, even if she does not have primary custody.
If neither parent has health insurance through a job, then the judge might divide the costs of getting a private health insurance policy. Low-income children might also qualify for Medicaid.
Even with health insurance, children often have medical expenses that one parent must pay out-of-pocket. These expenses can include physician, optical, dental, and psychological services. Medical expenses also include orthodontic work.
In Ohio, child support orders should contain cash medical support. This is the amount of money that Parent A pays to Parent B each year and represents a fund that Parent B draws on to pay medical expenses.
Of course, expenses might exceed this amount. For example, parent A might pay Parent B $400 a year for medical expenses. If the child has $1,000 of expenses, then $600 is not covered.
These uncovered expenses are called “extraordinary medical expenses,” and the child support order should identify how they will be paid. The order might assign all extraordinary medical expenses to one parent or divide them on a percentage basis. As an example, the order might state Parent A must cover 80% of all extraordinary medical expenses, and Parent B must chip in 20%.
Contact Our Child Support Lawyer for More Details
Child support is one of the more confusing aspects of a divorce. We encourage all parents to fully understand their child support order and do what is right for their children. For assistance, contact Groth & Associates today for a free consultation.