The child support a father and ex-husband must pay in Ohio is dependent upon a number of factors that will be considered by a court. An experienced attorney’s input and aggressive representation concerning what is equitable and can be paid following a divorce can make a material difference in a support outcome.
The same is true regarding any subsequent request for a support modification. Such a motion often comes into play, and necessarily, when a material change in circumstances renders current payments unfairly high and, in some instances, flatly onerous.
That situation can easily arise, and it has with noted frequency in recent years, given the recessionary climate and the job losses -- as well as demotions or reclassifications resulting in lesser pay -- that it has produced.
As a result of that, many Ohio men have sought reductions in support payments.
A recent state Supreme Court ruling rejected one such petition for adjustment. Although the case did not turn out positive for the father who brought it, it does drive home the point that every case is unique and that a diligent attorney will place before a court all relevant factors that should be addressed.
The Court upheld a lower ruling that had denied the father’s request for a support reduction, notwithstanding the fact that the college at which he was president fully halved his pay in 2009 owing to the dampened economy.
Most centrally, the case is important to note for its ruling that certain employer-provided non-cash fringe benefits will be considered as income in a support matter. In the case before the Ohio Supreme Court, those included a car and cellphone.
The case was not unanimously decided, which underscores the point that there is always room for an experienced attorney to forcefully argue a client’s position.
In a written dissent to the majority opinion, for example, one of the justices noted the court’s failure to recognize the value that certain company perks have as business use, rather than purely personal use. That distinction could make a difference in a future case.
Source: The Plain Dealer, "Ohio Supreme Court says company car, other job perks should count in child support calculations," Jeremy Pelzer, Oct. 16, 2013