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Ohio court hears arguments over child support and job perks

When a court determines a child support obligation, the judge will use the Ohio Child Support Guidelines that set forth how the support obligation should be calculated. As a part of this calculation, a number of factors are considered, including the income that each spouse brings to the table. Although the word income seems like a simple definition, it may not be all that clear in application.

For instance, do you receive certain perks as a part of your job? Are you a pilot who gets to fly for free? Are you a waitress who gets to dine for free while working? Do you get to use a company suite at a football game? Would you consider this income that could be considered in determination of the child support you would pay or receive? That is exactly the debate currently under review in the Ohio family court.

This case involves a request for modification of a child support order. The father in this case earned a salary of $143,000 when the $2,198 per month support order was determined. That salary was reduced to $75,000 per year, nearly in half. When the modification was sought, the court said that he received $16,000 in "perks" that others would have to pay for, including season tickets to watch the Ohio State University football team.

The father argues that while these types of employment benefits can be considered in some cases, those cases involve self-employment and business proprietorship, neither of which is present in his case. On the other side, the mother of the children says that the perks should be considered not under employment benefits but under the inclusive "all other income."

The Ohio Supreme Court is set to make a decision later this year. If you have questions about how a certain change in circumstances could affect your child support order, a family law attorney is the right place to turn.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Dad doesn't want his perks to count in calculating child support," Catherine Candisky, June 12, 2013

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