Establishment of a Support Order

A child support order determines the financial and medical support responsibilities of the parents. There are two ways a child support order can be established:

  • A child support order can be established administratively, or through the CSEA. Unless there is a divorce or dissolution filed in court, most orders start out administratively through two ways: a client completes an Application for Services OR a client is receiving a type of public assistance that requires compliance with the CSEA. Receipt of an Ohio Works First (OWF) cash grant and in some instances receipt of state and medical benefits requires that the parent cooperate with the CSEA in establishment of paternity and support orders. Administrative orders do not contain custody or visitation wording. Custody and visitation issues must be handled through the court;
  • A child support order can also be established through the court. Divorces and dissolutions that involve children have support established through the court. Instead of applying for services through the CSEA, parties who are not married can file for a child support order through the court directly and avoid going through the CSEA for establishment. Any divorce/dissolution actions, including but not limited to child support, medical support, custody, visitation, property settlements, must be handled/filed in court.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I get a child support order established?

Contact your local CSEA and request an Application for Services.  You can also print out, complete and mail the application to your local office at http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/file.asp?id=1360&type=application/pdf .  Once the application is returned to the Agency, a review will be completed within ten (10) days to determine if a case will be opened. You will be notified by mail if the application has been accepted or denied.

What happens at an administrative support establishment hearing?

At an administrative support establishment hearing, the hearing officer listens to testimony and collects documents for the Ohio Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support and cash medical support that the non-residential parent (obligor) will be ordered to pay. The hearing officer will also determine who will be ordered to provide health insurance coverage for the children (one party, both parties, or neither party). Once the administrative child support order is issued, both parties have a right to file with the court to object to the order.

What are child support guidelines?

  • In order to establish consistency in child support orders, the federal government requires states to use a child support guideline to calculate the support obligations of the parents. Ohio uses the Income Shares Model, which is a formula based on the premise that the child should be entitled to the same standard of living that the child would have enjoyed had the parents remained together. You can review Ohio’s child support calculator at https://ohiochildsupportcalculator.ohio.gov/home.html;
  • Ohio’s guideline uses gross income figures from both parents, and calculates the amount of support that would be necessary based upon the parents’ combined income. The combined support amount is then allocated between the parents based upon their relative contributions to the income. For example, if one parent contributes 60% of the income and the other parent contributes 40% of the income, then the parent who contributes 60% of the income will also be responsible for providing 60% of the combined support amount for the child;
  • After adjustments are made for other expenses (day care, private health insurance costs, other children in the home, etc.), the parent designated as the non-residential parent will be responsible for paying his/her guideline support amount to the residential parent or caretaker.

If I’m married, do I have to get a Divorce or Dissolution before I can apply for child support services?

No, if either of the parents are no longer residing in the home, you may apply for child support services.

How long does it take the CSEA to process a court order once it is received from the court?

Typically, the CSEA is able to record the order within 2 business days after the order is received from the court.

Am I able to appear for my hearing by telephone?

You may request to appear for your hearing by telephone. You must contact the CSEA and request a telephonic hearing. You must also provide the CSEA with the telephone number where you can be reached at the time scheduled for the hearing to begin. If you are appearing via telephone, you must submit all documentation for the hearing prior to the hearing date.

Are child support recipients required to show how child support money is used?

While the financial responsibility of both parties is included in the guidelines calculation, child support recipients are not required to file financial reports or receipts to document the use of child support.

Who can apply for child support services?

Anyone who has legal custody of a child that resides in Medina County can apply for services. An unmarried mother who gives birth has legal custody of her child born in Ohio.  If the father or third party (guardian, family member, etc.) has a court order granting him/her legal custody of the child, he/she can apply for child support services.

When can support be established?

Child support agencies can establish a support order for parents/legal guardians once paternity has been determined and the child remains under the age of 18 or has not emancipated.

Can I establish a child support order if the other parent lives outside of Ohio?

Yes, we can help you establish a child support order even if a parent does not live in Ohio.

Can a child support order still be issued when the non-custodial parent is in jail or prison?

Yes, a child support order can be issued if the non-custodial parent is incarcerated.

Can the child support enforcement agency (CSEA) help me establish a spousal support order?

No, state law does not authorize the CSEA to establish a spousal support order. You will need a private attorney because only the court may issue a spousal support order. However, the CSEA may be responsible for enforcing spousal support orders, when they are included in child support orders and when they are spousal support-only orders. 

Should I bring my child(ren) to my support hearing?

No, we actually request that you don’t bring any children to the child support hearing.

Can I bring my significant other with me?

No, only the parties to the case and their respective counsel will be allowed in the hearing room.

Will the issues of visitation or custody be discussed at the administrative hearing?

No, please remember, the CSEA Hearing Officer will not assist you on issues concerning companionship or living arrangements of a child. Visitation and custody are handled through court orders only.

Do I need an Attorney for the Administrative Hearing?

An Attorney is not required, however you may bring one if you wish.

I don’t agree with what’s in my Divorce/Dissolution Order

Any divorce actions, including but not limited to child support, medical support, custody, visitation, property settlements, must be handled/filed in court.

Can a caretaker receive child support for a child they have Power of Attorney for?

No. Agency policy does not allow us to establish support without legal custody.

Can a caretaker receive support for a child they have legal guardianship for?

Yes, you may apply for support.  The agency will have to review your guardianship paperwork to determine if a child support can be established.

What happens if my child is removed from my home or placed in Foster Care?

The agency is required to establish a case against both parents payable to Jobs and Family Services or the current custodian.  The agency will have to review the custody order issued by the court to determine who the proper payee will be.