Lois J. Cole


The purpose of this Note is to clarify the ramifications of Ohio's Child Support Guidelines and the 1988 Amendments. An examination of Ohio's child support law will necessarily begin with the background of federal child support legislation beginning with the Social Security Act of 1935. Mandates from this legislation, and its succeeding amendments over fifty years, are followed resulting in an examination of Ohio's Child Support Guidelines. Next, this Note focuses on the importance of judicial discretion and its role in the successful implementation of the Guidelines as well as whether Ohio's Guidelines should be used as a rebuttable presumption or merely as an advisory standard. Also analyzed are such elements of Ohio's Guidelines as calculating income, making adjustments to income, calculating each parent's share of the support obligation, defining extraordinary expenses, comparing post-divorce living standards, and modification of child support orders, including an analysis of modification decisions under the Guidelines as well as under previous Ohio case law. This Note concludes with a legislative update of federal and state child support law.

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