Child Support

As an Ohio family law attorney, Rick Marks counsels and represents clients in court proceedings relating to child support in Portage and Summit Counties. Rick has dedicated his practice solely to family law for more than 25 years. Drawing on his extensive experience, he takes a compassionate approach to family law. Rick provides highly effective counsel and support to his clients.

Experience and Practice Approach

In 1995, Rick Marks and Beth Chandler-Marks established Marks & Chandler Co., L.P.A. as a husband-and-wife law firm with a practice focused exclusively on family law. After Beth transitioned her practice to education law, Rick continued Marks & Chandler as a solo practice law firm, which it remains today.

By concentrating only on family law, Rick maintains an exceptional level of knowledge of the Ohio statutes and case law applicable to his practice. Limiting the scope of his practice also enables Rick to devote his full time and attention to helping and supporting his family law clients.

Rick recognizes that child support is a critical concern for you as a parent, because it involves your child’s financial security and welfare. He also understands that the potential impact of child support proceedings makes them extremely difficult, emotional, and stressful for you to navigate.

Rick’s compassionate approach includes maintaining close communication with you throughout the entire process. He provides legal and moral support to minimize the stress of the situation and to help you make the best decisions for yourself and your family, both short-term and long-term. You can always reach Rick to ask questions or address concerns, including evenings and weekends.

The success of Rick’s approach to practice is demonstrated by the fact many of his clients come through referrals from former clients and other attorneys.

Ohio Child Support Laws

Under state law, both parents of a child are financially responsible for the child’s welfare and care. Ohio courts and the state child support enforcement agencies have authority to determine child support and enforce child support orders.

Whether child support is part of a divorce or dissolution proceeding or the subject of a proceeding relating only to child support, intricate and detailed state laws and guidelines apply to child support determinations. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services administers the child support system. ODJFS publishes a manual for calculating child support which includes a line-by-line guide to the child support worksheets that are part of the manual.

A formula is used to determine basic child support, based on the combined gross incomes of the parents. Adjustments to the calculation may be made for specific reasons. The process also ensures coverage of the child’s health care and medical expenses, both ordinary and extraordinary.

The law permits a court to deviate from the calculated amount and lists 16 specific considerations relating to a deviation determination. The statute also permits the court to take into account any other relevant factor. Examples of factors that may be considered by the court in granting a deviation include:

  • Special or unusual needs of the child
  • The relative financial resources, including the disparity in income and assets, and the needs of each parent
  • In-kind contributions of a parent, such as paying for school, clothing, sports equipment, or lessons
  • Benefits that either parent receives from remarriage or shared living expenses with another person
  • The standard of living of each parent, and the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the parents stayed or been married
  • Responsibility of each parent for support of others who are not subject to the support order

The law lists many other considerations in addition to those listed above. If the court grants a deviation, the record must state the calculated amount of child support and explain the conclusion that the calculated amount would be unjust and inappropriate and not in the best interest of the child. Findings of fact must support the determination.

While parents may negotiate an agreement on child support as part of a settlement agreement in a divorce or dissolution action, the court reviews the agreement to ensure that it complies with all requirements of the child support laws and guidelines.

Navigating a Child Support Proceeding

The complexity of the law and the process through which the court may allow deviation from the calculated amount make it essential to have legal representation in a proceeding where deviation from the statutory calculation is an issue. Rick Marks has the necessary knowledge and experience to help you navigate child support issues as part of a divorce case or independently of a divorce proceeding.

Rick makes certain that you understand the law and your legal rights relating to child support, so you have a solid foundation for making decisions. Rick’s sensitive approach helps to alleviate the stress and emotional difficulty that naturally accompany any proceeding involving child support issues.

Negotiating an agreement on child support includes numerous factors relating to the child and to each of the parents. Gathering the right factual information and then leveraging the evidence to opposing counsel and ultimately to the court requires special knowledge as well as strong advocacy and strategic skills.

Utilizing his substantial experience in child support matters, Rick works with you to gather all the important information to use in negotiations and in court proceedings. He is a strong and steady advocate in negotiations with the opposing counsel.

Rick works hard on your behalf to solve problems and find resolutions for issues. He protects your interests to the full extent necessary in order to achieve a result that is fair and reasonable. If an acceptable resolution does not come through negotiations, Rick represents you aggressively at trial, providing the court with detailed evidence and legal arguments to support your position.

Schedule a Consultation

To talk with Rick Marks about child support or any other family law matter, please call (330) 677-9000 or use the online contact form. From his office in Kent, Rick assists clients in Portage County and Summit County.