Senate passes Gavarone bill updating child support guidelines

State Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today applauded the Ohio Senate for passage of legislation she sponsored 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, House Bill 366 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 support.

“For the past 26 years, there have been no updates to Ohio’s child support guidelines,” Gavarone said.  “One out of every three children are in the child support system, so ensuring more reliable and consistent payments is vital.  It took a lot of time and work to get to this point, but I am so happy we will be able to positively impact the lives of so many Ohioans because of this legislation.”

House Bill 366, which is a Buckeye Pathway bill, passed the Ohio House in March with unanimous, bipartisan support and now after passage through the Senate with amendments, goes back to the House for a concurrence vote.