Child support payments in Ohio are intended to ensure that both parents participate in their child's development based on their income and ability. It is not designed to punish parents but to enable children to grow and live well. While initial child support calculations are generally based on the parents' income, financial situations can change while an order remains in effect. As a result, some parents may suffer extensively and face the potential for serious penalties, even though they truly cannot afford to meet the payment schedule.
As many Ohio parents know, child support disagreements can become very tense. Complications add up if there is any question about paternity. In those cases, results from DNA testing might be the key to resolving the issues.
When parents in Ohio decide to divorce or separate, an increasing number are opting for joint custody arrangements in which the children spend a roughly equal amount of time with each parent. Because neither parent has primary custody, both parents may wonder how joint custody will affect child support obligations. In a joint custody situation, both parents share the everyday financial and practical responsibilities of child-raising. Joint custody situations are handled differently in family court than primary custody family situations.
A parent in Ohio who has overdue child support obligations may still be able to obtain a mortgage to purchase a home. While delinquent child support is considered a derogatory credit event and lowers one's chances of obtaining a mortgage approval, there are some options.
Ohio parents who separate or divorce may find themselves suddenly involved in the child support system. However, despite the prevalence of child support, many people know little about how it works. Each year, August marks Child Support Awareness Month, which is meant to spread information about the financial responsibilities of noncustodial parents to their children.
Ohio parents who are new to paying or receiving child support payments may find the process a bit confusing. For instance, some noncustodial parents make child support payments directly to the custodial parent, while other parents pay their support directly to the state. The structure of the payment plan depends on the type of child support case a parent has.
Ohio parents who need to negotiate or dispute child support issues might wonder about the long-term effects of their decisions. Breaking up often inspires very passionate feelings. When decisions are made based on those emotions, they can also affect finances, including the financial well-being of their own children. Therefore, parents are advised to act in the best interests of their kids, even when they struggle to get along with their exes.
The gig economy has created new challenges for Ohio parents and others who are trying to collect child support. Roughly 70 percent of support owed is collected by garnishing income from paychecks, but it can be difficult to determine if someone is working for Uber or another company as a contractor. Even if a person is discovered earning money as a contract worker, the company providing the income would need to cooperate with authorities.
Some parents in Ohio who are supposed to receive child support from another parent might wonder whether that parent is using voluntary impoverishment or hiding income to avoid paying child support. Visiting the office of child support enforcement is the first step in pursuing this. If the parents do not already have a formal child support agreement in place, this office can assist a parent in filing for a child support order that is legally binding.
Ohio single parents struggling to make ends meet often rely on child support in order to pay the bills for their children's educational, medical and other needs. Many people may see news reports about high-profile celebrity divorces and custody cases, and these reports can skew expectations and beliefs about the child support system for everyday people. For most people, child support provides just the necessary funds in order to cover basic expenses, and many parents still struggle to support their children adequately.