Anyone with legal custody of a child can ask the CSEA to establish a support order. Ohio law provides that unwed mothers are the sole residential parent and legal custodian of a child unless a court awards custody to someone else.
Establishing a child support order requires both parents to provide verification of income, day care expenses and health insurance expenses. Failure of a non-requesting party, or person otherwise required to cooperate with CSEA, to return income verification does not prevent the CSEA from calculating a support order.
There are 2 ways a support order can be established.
Administratively: A hearing officer conducts a hearing at the CSEA. This process is generally faster and more informational than a court hearing. During the administrative process the hearing officer calculates the amount of child support to be paid using the Child Support Guidelines as required by Ohio law. A hearing officer cannot deviate from the amount of child support determined on the Child Support Guidelines.
Judicially: A hearing is scheduled before a Magistrate or Judge who determines the amount of child support to be paid. The court can address other issues such as visitation if a proper motion if filed. The court also has the discretion to deviate from the amount of support determined on the Child Support Guidelines.