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What happens with delinquent child support payments?

| Jan 28, 2020 | Firm News |

Children involved in divorce deserve the emotional and financial support of both parents. Ohio, like many other states in the nation, follows an income shares model for determining child support. This means that the court takes into account both parents income when determining child support. Children should receive the same financial support that they would have if their parents stayed together. Yet, what happens when the non-custodial parent fails to make child support payments established in the divorce decree? 

According to the Ohio Office of Child Support, there are steps you can take to retrieve unpaid child support funds from the non-custodial parent. One of the most common methods is withholding child support from non-custodial parents’ paycheck or from other routes of income. The state can intercept any of the following in order to take the court order child support amount: 

  • Pensions or annuities 
  • Federal or state income tax refunds 
  • Workers’ compensation payments 
  • Lottery ticket winnings 
  • Retirement benefits or unemployment compensation 
  • Sick pay and/or disability 

In addition to withholding income, officials can take ‘stronger’ measures if needed. They may suspend a professional license, report the past due amount to the crediting agencies and even hold the parent in contempt of court. The court may decide to press charges for seriously delinquent cases, which could result in jail time and hefty fines. 

It is considered a misdemeanor if child support is withheld on purpose, goes unpaid for one year and the total owed is over $5,000. The court may decide to press charges in these cases, which could result in up to six months in jail, fines and mandatory full payment of the delinquent child support amount.