If you, or the non-custodial parent lives in Ohio, and you are interested in applying for Ohio child support, rest assured that you are not alone.
In fact, Ohio has the third largest child support caseload in the nation. Ohio’s Office of Child Support falls under the jurisdiction of the state’s Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS.)
There are approximately 88 local Job and Family Service Agency offices located in each of Ohio’s counties.
Your county child support enforcement agency (CSEA) can help locate the non-custodial parent, and secure or enforce a child support order. In order to do this the CSEA uses database information from sources such as: the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Employment Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, and the Ohio New Hire Employer directory.
Applying For Ohio Child Support Services
Anyone who receives public benefits in Ohio, is also eligible to receive free child support services. In fact, if you do receive state or federal aid, you are required to cooperate with the child support office in establishing paternity and collecting child support. If you do not currently receive public benefits, you can apply for child support services by filling out a written application. This application is available from your county's Child Support Enforcement Agency, or online at:
Ohio Child Support Applications
In many Ohio counties, it is completely free to apply for child support services, in some counties, you may have to pay a nominal $1.00 application fee.
Establishing Ohio Child Support and Medical Support Orders
If you don’t already have a court order for Ohio child support and/or medical support, your local CSEA office can help you navigate the process to obtain one. The court will use a set worksheet called “Ohio Child Support Guidelines” in order to calculate the amount of support the non-custodial parent will be required to pay. You can view a copy of these guidelines online at:
Jobs and Family Serivces
Both parents will be asked to provide verification of their incomes for the past six months or their most recent income tax returns in order to determine child support.
If the court deems that it is also reasonable and necessary for the non-custodial parent to provide health insurance for the child, it will issue a medical court order that stipulates this provision. Health insurance coverage is considered available and reasonable if it can be obtained by a parent through the parent's employer or other group health insurance plan.
Modifying A Child Support Order
A child support caseworker will review a child support case every thirty-six months at the request of either parent. In certain situations, if there is a major change in the custody or finances of either parent, the CSEA will consider reviewing a case sooner than the required time frame.
Enforcing A Child Support Order
Child support orders that are issued in Ohio include a provision for required income withholding. This means that the non-custodial parent will have a specified amount of money withheld from his or her paycheck in order to pay the child support obligation. This amount may change over time depending upon the income available for withholding, the work status of the parent paying support, and the availability of other assets to pay the child support obligation.
Income withholding is mandatory in the state of Ohio. It applies to all types of income, such as personal earnings, workers' compensation payments, unemployment compensation benefits, pensions, annuities, allowances, private or governmental retirement benefits, disability or sick pay, insurance proceeds, lottery prize awards, any form of trust fund or endowment, lump-sum payments, assets in a financial institution, or any other payment in money.
If the non-custodial parent does fall behind in child support payments, Ohio’s CSEA office will use a variety of measures to collect past-due support. These measures include credit reporting, professional license suspension, and increasing the amount of income withholding to pay arrears. If an individual fails to comply with a required action and enforcement by a court becomes necessary, the court can hold the person in contempt. Contempt penalties can include fines and/or jail time.Trouble Collecting Your Child Support? Let Us Help!
Ohio Child Support Laws
The state and federal laws that govern child support in Ohio are as follows:
1. Ohio Revised Code, part 2705 2. Ohio Revised Code, part 2919.21 3. United States Code: 18 U.S.C. §228.
Collecting and Disbursing Child Support Payments
Ohio child support office uses a system run by Child Support Payment Central (CSPC) to collect and disburse child support payments. All payments are sent to a centralized post office box where there are collected, processed, and posted on the day of receipt. Payments are disbursed via first class mail or direct deposit.
For More Information on Ohio Child Support
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