Kasich signs Gavarone’s bill updating child support guidelines

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed House Bill 366, legislation sponsored by State Rep. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, that updates Ohio’s quarter-century-old child support guidelines.

Ohio law stipulates guidelines for courts and child support agencies to use when determining the outcome of child support orders. Matters such as economic tables, parenting time, and health insurance coverage are all outlined in code but have not been updated since 1992. With the support of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and several county child support enforcement agencies, the bill aims to modernize and streamline the child support payment process.

The bill includes the following provisions:

  • Updates the economic tables used to calculate child support payments, ensuring that child support orders are appropriate across the various income levels.
  • Modernizes healthcare coverage guidelines through various changes, including aligning parental responsibilities with the Affordable Care Act.
  • Creates a standard deduction for child support payments when a parent has multiple orders, with the goal of equalizing orders and treating all children the same.
  • Caps the allowable credit for shared childcare expenses at the statewide average.
  • Implements a parenting time adjustment to standard child support orders to take into account the amount of time a non-custodial parent spends with their child.

“After working with Senator Beagle, Amy Roehrenbeck, CSEA directors, like Wood County’s Frank McLaughlin, and so many others, we finally updated Ohio’s 26-year-old child support laws,” Gavarone said.  “Not only will this bill help families receive more reliable and consistent payments, but provisions in the bill ensure that we’ll be able to update these guidelines again before the year 2044.”

House Bill 366 passed the Ohio House in March with bipartisan support. The bill passed through the Senate with minor, technical amendments, and then was concurred upon by the House earlier this month.