When can you modify child support in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2024 | blog, child support |

Child support payments ensure that a couple’s children have sufficient financial support after a split. This safeguards the child’s well-being and allows for an equitable contribution from each parent.

However, circumstances may arise where it makes sense to change the agreement. To do so, the State of Ohio lays out specific guidelines for when a parent can request a modification.

Periodic review of child support arrangements

Ohio’s statutes refer to the parent who makes child support payments as the “obligor” and the parent receiving payments as the “obligee.” State law gives the obligor the option to request a modification to child support every 36 months.

This arrangement takes into account that a child’s needs or a parent’s circumstances may gradually change over time. As with the initial order, the court reviews both parent’s income, the necessary expenses for child care, the time each parent spends with the child and other relevant factors to determine support payments.

A sudden significant change in circumstances

Fortunately, obligors do not have to wait every three years to modify child support if they experience a drastic change in circumstances. Anything that impacts the ability to pay child support can merit requesting a modification. Valid reasons for modifications include the following:

  • A 30% decrease in income or assets
  • A disability
  • A job loss
  • Incarceration

To begin the modification process, the obligor can request the appropriate paperwork from the local child support office.

Parents must remember that the support order originates from either the local child support enforcement agency, Domestic Relations Court or Juvenile Court. The obligor has to be sure to file the forms with the agency that issued to order to get an official change to the modification.