The CSEA is the office that will administrate any and all of the child support questions and processes for child support in the state of Ohio. If the person applying for child support does not already receive some sort of services (TANF, for example) then they can contact the CSEA for assistance. You will need to obtain an order for child support before any funds can be collected and sent to you. There are several ways in which you can obtain a child support order.
The first way is the easiest way, and that is to have the order already created via your divorce attorney or mediator. Then you simply bring or send the original orders to the CSEA and they will begin the process toward filling out the paperwork. If you must go through the court to get the order created, then the CSEA can assist you in filing the petition and will walk you through the process. You will not go through this alone.
How Child Support Works in Ohio
The amount that the noncustodial parent (nonresidential) is required to pay is based on the Ohio Child Support Guidelines sheet. Both parents will be required to provide verification of incomes from the past six months and to provide the most recent income tax returns. Based on this information, as well as the age of the child, how many children need support, the resources of the parents and the children, the current lifestyle of the child, medical and health insurances, daycare, as well as educational needs will all be taken into consideration.
Keep in mind that the CSEA does a lot of work on your behalf, but it does not represent either parent legally. Additionally, the CSEA does not determine custody issues, work with alimony, visitation, or modify court orders. The CSEA is given a lot of leeway to work with parents so that they don’t have to go to the added expense and stress of going to court. If both parents will agree then the CSEA will sit down with them and determine the amount and type of child support for the order. An order can be filed and processed without the nonresidential parent’s presence, even if they live in another state. Paternity must be proven, however.
Here is the link for the application. It can be filed online, or printed out and mailed in with the requested documentation.
For a quick estimate of what you could expect to receive or expect to pay by way of child support in Ohio, you can access this quick tool: http://www.alllaw.com/calculators/childsupport/ohio/
Keep in mind that it is simply a tool and is not legally binding in any way. You will need some documents to fill it out, so look the site over before beginning to fill it out.