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Can bartering factor into Ohio child support cases?

Custodial parents in Ohio know that the money that comes from child support payments can be vital to their ability to meet a child's basic needs. In fact, child support payments are intended to assist a custodial parent in providing for a child who lives with them. However, in some cases, the non-custodial parent fails to pay the support, and the financial hardship caused by this failure can be a challenge for some families.

When a couple divorces and an order for child support is issued in Ohio, the payments are mandatory for the non-custodial parent. However, in these tough economic times, some find that the non-custodial parent may be unable to pay child support due to job loss or other personal financial difficulties. In these cases it may be tempting for a custodial parent to limit the visitation of the child by the non-paying parent.

Authorities note that taking visitation away from the child may be emotionally difficult for kids. This is particularly true in cases where the child is accustomed to spending as much as half of their time with the non-custodial parent. To ensure that the affect of the failure to pay on the child is limited, bartering may be considered.

For some couples, bartering for services as an exchange for child support payments can be agreed upon to make things easier. Examples include a non-custodial parent making repairs to the family car or home where the child lives. It should be noted that bartering, while a viable way to assist in filling financial gaps when child support payments are not being made, is not a modification of the amount owed for child support. When child support payments are behind, it is always best to revisit the process with the court to see what modifications may be available, or other alternatives, before the situation gets out of hand.

Source:, "Ex-Etiquette: Child support and visitation should be separate," Jann Blackstone, Aug. 13, 2012

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