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Help! Ohio Child Support CSEA adjusted my child support and I cannot afford to pay!

GET A CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEY, DUBLIN CHILD SUPPORT LAWYERSo you went through the ohio child support CSEA administrative review process and your child support went up?  Unfortunately, this is the usual result.  Salaries usually go up over time, which means that child support goes up over time.  However, you do have some rights.  You can object to the administrative adjustment for two major reasons:

  1. The numbers that were used to calculate the child support were wrong; or
  2. The numbers were correct, but the court should give you a deviation (hopefully downward, not upward) in your child support amount.

First, you must know that you have only a little bit of time to make your objection.  If your child support order that was reviewed was a court order, you have 14 days to make your objection.  The law says that you have 14 days of receipt  of information re your rights to object (JFS 07724), which usually comes with the administrative review recommendation, but to be safe, you should calculate that 14 days from the date the administrative  review recommendation was made.  Some CSEA agencies will tell you that the deadline is 14 days from the date that recommendation was made, and to save yourself a world of grief, you should not fight the machine, and just get your objection in within 14 days from when the recommendation was made.  Please note – as this blog is written, legislature is being proposed to changed these deadlines, and so when you read this, you need to consult with an attorney to see if the deadlines are still accurate.

If your child support order that was reviewed was an administrative order, you have a little more time to make your objection.  According to the law, you have 30 days from the date you received JFS 07724 and your administrative order to object, but again, to be safe, you should object by 30 days from the date recommendation is made.  Again, to be safe, you need to check with an attorney re these deadlines because legislation is being proposed to change them.

Your objection must be RECEIVED by the deadline, not mailed by the deadline.  

Okay, so, assuming you got your objection in on time, what is next?  Well, that depends on the basis of your objection, but the bottom line is you start gathering your evidence to support the basis for your objection, and figuring out how you are going to get the evidence admitted into court under the Ohio Rules of Evidence.

The Law Offices of Virginia C. Cornwell represents clients in child supports matters, and helps them with the their child support objections.  For an appointment to discuss your case, please call our office at 614-225-9316 to set a consultation to discuss the facts and circumstances in your case.

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CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER, OBJECT CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER,  CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO CHILD SUPPORT LAWYERWant your questions answered by a live person (either in person or by telephone)?  We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.

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Ohio Cash Medical Support Orders and Child Support Deviation

CHILD SUPPORT PACIFIERSince 2008, Ohio has had additional child support orders called “cash medical support orders”.  These orders only come in to play when private health insurance is not available to the child who is the subject of the support order and/or the child is on Medicaid, Molina, Care Source or some other publicly funded health insurance.  If the child is not on a publicly funded health plan, then the cash medical support goes to the residential parent.  If the child IS on a publicly funded health plan, then the cash medical support goes to the county that is administering the plan or to the State of Ohio.

Situations where the child is on a publicly funded health plan can be problematic when parties are in divorce or child support litigation, and part of the proposed settlement includes a “zero child support” term.  Cash medical support is not subject to deviation.  Therefore, if the child does not have health insurance, the non-residential parent (or non-school placement parent) is going to pay SOME child support, whether they like it or not.  The parties simply do not have the power to bargain cash medical support away.

For more information about cash medical support in Ohio, see our article about cash medical support:

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CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER, DIVORCE CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER,  CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEY, COLUMBUS CHILD SUPPORT LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO CHILD SUPPORT LAWYERWant your questions answered by a live person (either in person or by telephone)?  We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.

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You are NOT the Father! Can you sue to recover the child support you paid?

Virginia Cornwell is a Columbus Ohio Family Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio and an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.  She helps clients throughout Ohio and accepts cases from all 88 Ohio Counties.  The information in this article applies only to the state of Ohio.

OHIO FAMILY LAWYERSo you paid child support for years thinking you were the father of a child (or children), and now you find out that you are not.  Can you get the child support back because the mother lied about who was the father of the child?  Is this fraud under the law? Can you sue to recover the child support you paid?  Ohio Law says the answer is yes, but it is not that simple.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316 or contact us by e-mail.

OHIO FAMILY LAWYERThe questions you should be asking are:

  • Who do I sue to recover the child support?
  • Do I sue the mother who received the child support or the father who should have paid it?
  • How do I sue to get my child support back?
  • What kind of case do I file (in other words, what law allows me to do this)?
  • What court do I file this case in?
  • Am I likely to win?
  • If I am not likely to win, why not?
  • If I win, am I likely to get my money back?

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316 or contact us by e-mail.

OHIO FAMILY LAWYER PATERNITY The short answer is YES, Ohio law DOES allow people to file an action to be recover child support paid for a child that turns out not to be their child.  Unfortunately, Ohio courts have found the law to be unconstitutional in many judicial districts.  Even if your appellate district did not find the law to be unconstitutional, (brace yourself), while the law in Ohio allows you to file an action to recover child support, the law has a strict list of conditions that you would have to pass in order to win.

When the laws were passed that would allow people to “undo” a paternity determination in Ohio, many courts believed that paternity was a matter that should be decided by the courts, and the laws were unconstitutional.

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See, before you can recover child support, a person has to disprove paternity.  Some courts are very hostile to this idea, and to the rights created by the legislature when Ohio Revised Code 3119.96 – 3119.967 were enacted.  One example of this was a Franklin County Court decision in the VanDusen case in Franklin County (Tenth Appellate District):

{¶ 15} The legislature, when it enacted R.C. 3119.961, clearly was on notice that it was attempting to dictate to the courts of this state what to do with paternity judgments rendered months, years or even decades earlier. The legislature also was on notice that the statute it was enacting was in conflict with Civ.R. 60(B) and the body of case law surrounding that Civil Rule. In short, notwithstanding the doctrine of the separation of powers which has helped our state and federal governments to function for over 200 years, the legislature wished to tell the courts how to address matters normally reserved for the courts to determine.

{¶ 16} Such a disregard for the traditional powers of the other branches of government is especially egregious in the context of parenting and parentage *497 matters. The legislature has in effect ordered the courts to enter new judgments taking away the only father a child has ever known if a DNA test indicates that the father and child are not genetically linked. Such a legislative mandate overlooks how complex the parent-child relationship is. A person who has served as a parent for many years is still in many ways a parent to the child, no matter whose genes and chromosomes are involved. If this were not so, no adult could successfully adopt a child and raise the child to adulthood…

¶ 20} When the original divorce decree was journalized in 1995, Kelly Van Dusen was expressly found to be the child of Brian K. Van Dusen and Donna A. Van Dusen. Kelly’s parentage was clearly a matter expressly decided by the trial court—to use the Latin phrase, {¶ 21} Once a fact has been adjudicated, the way to change that adjudication is through the use of Civ.R. 60(B). Eight years have now passed since that adjudication occurred. Kelly is now 17 years old. For many purposes, Kelly is and will remain Brian Van Dusen’s child, no matter what a court says in the future.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316 or contact us by e-mail.

OHIO FAMILY LAWYER PATERNITY FATHERS RIGHTSIf this is how unfriendly the courts are to disestablishing paternity, even in the face of DNA evidence, you can imagine how much more resistant courts are to recovering wrongly paid support.  In fact the only decision that this author could find that even comes close to a victory only stated that the laws allowing such claims were not unconstitutional, and, on appeal, referred the case back to the trial court to determine the claim.    Any guesses as to how much, if any, the trial court likely awarded in back support?

What’s the moral of the story here?  The law is trying to help fathers who paid support for a child that was not his.  The courts want fathers to step up EARLY in a child’s life, and if you are paying support for a child that is not yours, the court wants you to do something about AS SOON AS YOU FIND out.  The longer you wait, the less relief you are going to get.  If you have questions about your child’s paternity, do something immediately.  

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316 or contact us by e-mail.

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!


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In Ohio, how far back can child support go? That depends on PATERNITY.

CHILD SUPPORT ATTORNEYS COLUMBUS OHIO Virginia Cornwell is a Columbus Ohio Child Support Attorney and an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

  • How far back can child support go in Ohio?
  • I didn’t even know about this baby, and now, 10 years later she is going for child support all the way back to birth.  Can she do that?
  • In Ohio, is there a certain age where, if you haven’t already applied for child support ,you can’t get back support?
  • Is there a statute of limitations on child support in Ohio?
PATERNITY ATTORNEYS IN COLUMBUSThe key to answering all of these questions is PATERNITY.  Whether or not paternity has been established is the primary factor in determining how far back child support can go in Ohio.  The secondary factor in determining how far back child support will go is whether you request child support through the child support enforcement agency or file a Complaint (or Motion) in court.
Ohio Revised Code 3111.05 (statute of limitations)  says an action to determine the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship (paternity, or parentage) may not be brought later that five years after the child reaches the age of 18. That means that in Ohio paternity can be established up until the age of 23.

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What does paternity have to do with back (retroactive) child support?  In Ohio, Paternity MUST be established before a court or a child support enforcement agency can make a child support order.  In addition, in Ohio, a child support order can ONLY  BE retroactive if made in conjunction with a determination of paternity.


Q.  Who can file an action to establish paternity in Ohio?

A.  According to Ohio Revised Code 3111.04, the following people can bring an action for paternity:

  • the child or the child’s personal representative
  • the child’s mother or her personal representative
  • a man alleged or alleging himself to be the child’s father or his personal representative
  • the child support enforcement agency of the county in which the child resides IF the child’s mother, father, or alleged father is a recipient of public assistance or of services under Title IV-D of the “Social Security Act,” 88 Stat. 2351 (1975), 42 U.S.C.A. 651, as amended.  Public assistance, as used in this statute, means:
  • Medicaid
  • Ohio works first
  • Disability financial assistance
Q.  Once paternity is established, how does a court decide whether or not to order retroactive child support?  

Ohio Revised Code 3111.13 controls this issue.  That statute says that a court shall not order retroactive child support if both of the following apply:

  •  At the time of the initial filing of the paternity or parentage action the child was over three years of age.
  • Prior to the initial filing of the paternity or parentage action, the alleged father had no knowledge and had no reason to have knowledge of his alleged paternity of the child.  (the mother of the child may establish that the alleged father had or should have had knowledge of the paternity of the child by showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that she performed a reasonable and documented effort to contact and notify the alleged father)

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Establishing Paternity as an Adult in Ohio

PATERNITY DNA FATHER'S ATTORNEY IN OHO COLUMBUSThe issue of filing a paternity action in order to seek child support after a child turns 18 is a murky issue in Ohio, and the nuances of this issue are still being determined by Ohio courts.
On the one hand, there is ORC 2105.26 which contemplates a situation where a father, an adult child (any age), and the adult child’s mother all file a joint declaration in probate court alleging that the man is the child’s father and requesting that the probate court issue an order declaring the man to be the adult child’s father.  In that situation, the declaration must state
  • that the adult child’s birth certificate does not designate anyone as the adult child’s father (copy of the birth certificate must be attached);
  • the request for the order is made freely and voluntarily by all parties appearing before the court; and
  • genetic test results show the man is the adult child’s father. (A copy of the DNA test results must be attached)
If the mother is deceased, or has been adjudicated to be incompetent, the alleged father and the adult child can file an action together, without the mother.  The primary purpose for this type of action would be to formalize the father-child relationship and to establish rights of inheritance.  In fact, Ohio Revised Code 2105.26 specifically states that when an action is brought this way,  the adult child and the adult child’s mother shall not be awarded child support from the man for the time the adult child was a minor.

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COLUMBUS OHIO PATERNITY FATHER DNA LAWYER ATTORNEYOn the other hand, you have Ohio Revised Code 3111.05.  This statute of limitations, which we discussed at the beginning of this article, clearly states that a paternity action can be brought by the mother, father, child or CSEA Agency  until the child’s 23rd birthday (five years after the child turns 18).  Sounds simple enough right?  Wrong.  The tricky part is, that according to the Supreme Court of Ohio in Carnes v. Kemp,, 104 Ohio St. 3d 629, if you are seeking child support after the child has turned 18, apparently that can only be done when the adult child files to establish paternity AND seek child support.
OHIO PATERNITY ATTORNEYThe issue presented to the Ohio Supreme Court in Carnes was “Does a court have subject-matter jurisdiction to award retroactive child support payments in a paternity action initiated after the child has reached the age of majority?”  The Supreme Court of Ohio answered the question with a YES.  The Court noted that Ohio Revised Code 3111.13(C) states that a juvenile court has the authority to make a support order once a parentage determination is made, and that this means that 3111.05 “extends the length of time in which to bring a parentage action, and 3111.13(C) does not limit a juvenile court’s jurisdiction in a parentage action to award retroactive child support to minor children only.  This means that an adult, emancipated child can seek retroactive child support until his or her 23rd birthday.  If granted, the time period for retroactive child support could be from birth through age 18.
Okay, so, if you read the Carnes case, plus the statutes, you’d think that, since a mother can file an action for paternity until a child is age 23, that a mother would also be able to file for retroactive child support until the child turns 23, just like the adult child did in Carnes, right?   Maybe not.  In the case In re J.V., E.V. Appellant, E.V., the mother of J.V., filed for an action for retroactive child support.  The court of appeals said that because the child was over 18 the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to award child support to the mother.  The court noted that unlike the Carnes v. Kemp case, no action for paternity had been filed, but said that even if the mother HAD filed an action for paternity, the Carnes case only held that an adult emancipated child could establish paternity and get 18 years back support after reaching the age of 18.  The Court of Appeals in In re J.V. said that the Carnes case did NOT say that a mother had a right to file a claim for retroactive child support after the child turns 18, only that an adult child has the right.  This interpretation of Carnes may not be completely consistent with the Supreme Court’s holding in Carnes, and it is very likely that there will be more decisions addressing this issue in the next few years.

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FATHER'S RIGHTS PATERNITY ATTORNEY COLUMBUS OHIOSo what’s the lesson here?  Ohio fathers should establish paternity as early as possible.  Because guess what – if the child waits until it is an adult to establish paternity and seek support – you may get a whopper child support award of 18 years, all at once.
DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!

For more information about MOTHER’S RIGHTS, see our page regarding MOTHER’S RIGHTS IN OHIO.

For more information about GRANDPARENT RIGHTS see our page regarding GRANDPARENTS RIGHTS IN OHIO.

For more information about obtaining CUSTODYSHARED PARENTING, ORVISITATION in Ohio, see our post about OHIO CUSTODY.

For more information about DNA testing, see our post regarding DNA TESTING.

For more information about SHARED PARENTING, see our post regarding SHARED PARENTING IN OHIO.

For more information about the rights of UNMARRIED PARENTS OR NEVER MARRIED PARENTS, click the link.

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Family Support Columbus Ohio & UIFSA

Family Support Columbus Ohio Child Support Spousal SupportWhat is family support?  It’s not a legal term in Ohio law, but it is included in the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, or UIFSA.  Family support is a term that is used to mean child support and/or spousal support (alimony).

The UIFSA is a result of federal regulations requiring states to cooperate in establishing child support, and assist in enforcing child support, spousal support and family support orders.  If you are seeking help with interstate family support orders in Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County), you can consult with a child support attorney.  To visit the website for the Franklin County Office of Child Support Enforcement, or CSEA, just place your cursor over the link and click it.

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Interstate Family Law Attorney in OH OhioFranklin County Ohio’s CSEA has published a helpful brochure on interstate child support enforcement issues.  Just click the link to read it.  The brochure answers questions such as:

  1. What to do if you have a child support case with different orders in different states?
  2. How long will it take to work with another state to establish or collect child support?
  3. How do you get your child support or family support order changed when one or both parents have moved to another state?
  4. How do you enforce your child support, spousal support or family support order when one or both parties have moved to another state?

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Attorney in Ohio UIFSA Child Support Spousal Support AlimonyTo help Ohio parents better understand the meaning of the terms in UIFSA, the Cuyahoga County CSEA has published a helpful glossary.  They also have a short and sweet explanation of UIFSA on this page.  To find out information about UIFSA from the CSEA in your county, click here for a directory.

Franklin County Courts have also provided some helpful information about family support and child support.  When you click the link at the end of this paragraph, scroll down past all the phone numbers and you will come to the question and answer section.

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Last but not least, in unraveling UIFSA, take a look at this Ohio Attorney Guide to UIFSA.  It is over ten years old, so you or your child support attorney will have to check to make sure it complies with the current law regarding UIFSA in Ohio, but it can provide a good framework for understanding the Law.

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Need more help with interstate child support or spousal support (alimony), but not sure if you need an attorney?  Maybe our FAQ page will help.   If you would like to meet with one of the attorneys from our office, call us at 614-225-9316 or e-mail us.

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