Standards for determining child support obligations in Ohio and other states are typically based on issues such as parental incomes and the number of children of the marriage. Custodial parents might find that their child support payments fall far short of the amount needed to adequately care for their child. In such a case, the costs of even basic activities and supplies might be shouldered by them. Paying for extras can be challenging if support amounts are inadequate.
While a judge might not dictate exactly how child support payments should be spent, it is typically expected that these funds be used in some way to cover the costs for caring for the child. These could include food, shelter, and medical care. A parent seeking a child support increase might not find much favor with a judge if the primary reason is a desire to provide extras such as music lessons or sports activities. In fact, even academic needs like tutoring might be considered extras rather than necessities.
A parent might negotiate with the other party to ensure that certain extras will continue to be provided. For example, both parties might agree to share the costs of league sports, dance lessons, or recitals. Agreements related to paying for college, car insurance, and other major interests could be included in a divorce settlement. Mediation might be an excellent option for those parents willing to work together to some degree to obtain the best resolutions for themselves as well as for their children.
A court order can typically be enforced if an individual fails to comply with support obligations or parenting time guidelines. Any agreements made outside of the court system should be reviewed by the parties’ respective attorneys and filed with the courts to ensure that the terms are enforceable. Without an agreement that is legally binding, a custodial parent could face major problems in dealing with the other party’s failure to pay child support.