Job & Family Services Office of Child Support
Office of Child Support - Establishment of a Support Order



Parents have a responsibility to support their children financially. Obtaining child support is important to your child(ren)'s well-being. A child support order sets the amount and type of support parents are required to provide for their child(ren).

If a person does not already receive support, the child's parent, guardian, legal custodian, or the person with whom the child lives considered the residential parent) can contact the local Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) for assistance in establishing an order for the payment of child support and health care needs of the child(ren).

The CSEA can help you in establishing a child support order however, CSEA services do not offer:

  • Help with a divorce
  • Determine custody of the children
  • Determine spousal support or alimony
  • Negotiate visitation rights
  • Address contested visitation issues

Support orders can sometimes be established by the CSEA without going to court. In Ohio, there are two ways that a support order can be established:

  • Administratively parents work with us to determine the amount and type of child support for the support order. A court hearing is not needed.
  • Judicially parents come to a court hearing where a judge reviews the financial information and decides the amount and type of child support for the support order.

Your local CSEA can also help you establish a child support order even if a parent does not live in Ohio.

In Ohio, the amount of child support a parent is responsible to pay depends on the income and assets of both parents. The CSEA or the court will use the "Ohio Child Support Guidelines" to determine the child support amount. Both parents must provide verification of their incomes for the past six months or provide their most recent income tax returns.

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Support Establishment Links and Resources

To find the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) in your county, call 1-800-686-1556 or visit:https://jfs.ohio.gov/County/County_Directory.pdf. Each of the state's 88 counties has a CSEA, staffed by people who are well-versed in Ohio laws, practices and who can answer your questions and explain your rights.

Application for establishing paternity and/or child support: If you are not now receiving any Ohio public assistance, you need to complete and submit a form called "Application for Child Support Services, Non-Public Assistance Applicant (JFS 07076)." This form is also available from your county's CSEA. We may already have you on file, depending upon whether you are already registered for certain services. If you are receiving services or payments through Ohio Works First (OWF), IV-E Foster Care Maintenance, or Medicaid, you are already registered with us. Simply go to your county's CSEA and let them know you wish to begin child support services.

You may access the Ohio support establishment related frequently asked questions and answers at:https://jfs.ohio.gov/Ocs/OCSFAQs.stm

The Ohio Administrative Code rules regarding support establishment can be found at:http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/5101%3A12-45.

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Last Updated 03/18/2015