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Child support is important for kids in Ohio. When both parents contribute to the well-being of the children, the kids have more opportunities and are much less likely to live in poverty. Child support assessments are based on parental income. However, those orders are based on the parents’ income at the time the order was made, not on other factors that may develop later down the road. As a result, parents may find themselves facing difficulties meeting their child support obligations if they lose their jobs, suffer a health problem or develop a disability.

Child support debt can be a major obstacle. It generally cannot be discharged even during personal bankruptcy. Parents who go into debt for child support may face enforcement actions and wage garnishment. In some cases, they may be denied passports or even face jail time. For parents living in poverty or facing economic hardship, the harsh penalties aimed at parents who refuse to pay support can be even more devastating and make it more difficult to get out of the hole in which they find themselves. These are some of the most important reasons why people facing financial difficulties may wish to file for a child support modification as soon as possible.

Modifications to a child support order can be temporary or permanent. Child support is meant to reflect a parent’s actual income, including the changes that can come with job loss, disability and other hardships. The parent seeking the change will need to show that their circumstances have changed substantially from the original order.

All children have the right to be supported, but that support can and should reflect a parent’s actual circumstances. A family law attorney may help a parent to seek a child support modification order if he or she is facing financial hardship.