Monday, April 7, 2014

A Departure From Marker v. Grimm When Calculating Child Support With A Combined Income Of Greater Than $150,000?

  The Eighth District Court of Appeals issued a recent decision marking a substantial
departure from the well known law created by the Supreme Court of Ohio in Marker v. Grimm,
65 Ohio St.3d 139 (1992).

  In Marker, the Supreme Court of Ohio determined that any court or agency computing a
child support order must follow the statutory requirements literally and technically in all material
aspects. This includes computing a child support computation worksheet and making it a part of
the record (i.e. attaching it to the order).

 The issue being considered by the Eighth District Court of Appeals in In Re: J-L.H., 8th
Dist. No. 100469, 2014-Ohio-1245, was that an administrative order did not include a child
support computation worksheet, and on this basis the trial court dismissed the agency’s
complaint. While first agreeing that Marker applied to the matter being decided in In Re: J-L.H.,
the court of appeals made a sharp departure from the long standing precedent. The court of
appeals reversed the trial court’s decision and decided that a child support computation
worksheet was not necessary. The court of appeals further indicated that in cases where the
combined gross income of the parties is less than $6,600 or more than $150,000, a child support
computation worksheet is not required to be used by the court or agency computing child
support. The court of appeals specifically held (even though it was not deciding this issue) that
“under R.C. 3119.04(B), courts are not required to use the guideline worksheet to determine the
appropriate amount of child support (as long as they make a finding that the amount is not less
than the $150,000 equivalent).”

 This holding will prove problematic as under the statute and Marker a trial court is
required to compute and utilize a basic child support computation worksheet when analyzing the
proper amount of child support.

 The In re: J-L.H. decision is available on the Supreme Court of Ohio's Website at

For more information regarding these issues, and the process involved, contact Joseph Stafford at 216.241.1074 or visit

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