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Poor Ohio fathers struggle to pay child support

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2012 | Child Support

Poor fathers in Ohio, like those earning less than $6,000 per year, know that it can be difficult to pay all the bills each month. For some, the choice comes down to paying for basic needs such as rent and food or making court-ordered child support payments. The concern for some is that if child support payments are not made, jail time could be ordered for the non-paying father.

According to some reports, there are 2.5 million poor fathers across the country who are making less than $6,000 per year in our country. Many of these people are also struggling to pay child support payments. For many of these fathers, the court-ordered child support payments make up as much as 35 percent of their income. This amount leaves little for Ohio fathers to use to pay for basic needs and new families.

When a father does not pay child support, he can face not only incarceration but also intercepted tax returns, a suspended driver’s license and wage garnishment. Especially onerous for some is the fact that the federal limit on wage garnishment for debt purposes is a high 65 percent of income. This amount leaves many unable to meet other financial obligations each month.

Some have suggested that states should have more leeway when considering the amount of child support ordered in such cases. A consideration of the expenses, obligations and income of the father may help those who are at the lowest income levels. Another suggestion offered an exchange of more time with the child for those who could not pay in cash. A further option may be to seek modification of an existing child support court order when a substantial change in circumstances has caused diminished income.

Source:, “Child support tug of war/Con,” Gheni Platenburg, July 7, 2012