Many custodial parents in Ohio know that it can be sometimes be difficult to collect court-ordered child support payments. This can be due to intentional, long-term refusal of the other parent to pay, even when he or she has the means to do so. However, nonpayment can also result from situations in which a noncustodial parent has a history of making their payments but suddenly stops. The change is often due to a significant life event such as a job loss. One state is trying to deal with these individuals in new ways to help increase the amount of child support payments collected each year.
For those noncustodial parents who have stopped making their child support payments due to a job loss or financial hardship, social workers are assigned to assess the situation. If the social worker feels that the noncustodial parent would pay if they could, services such as job training and financial planning assistance can be offered. In other cases in which it appears that the parent would refuse to pay child support even if they could, traditional methods such as wage garnishment can be used.
Receipt of child support payments is essential for many custodial parents in Ohio. The money that comes in each month is used to pay for the basic needs of the child or children such as clothing and food. When that money fails to arrive, the financial hardship caused can be significant.
Finding ways to assist in the collection of child support payments is the intent of the new programs being offered by one state. In addition, custodial parents may be able to seek the assistance of the court to collect payments. Because child support payments are mandatory, the court may be able to provide relief to some families seeking to collect payments.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Collecting child support,” Sept. 5, 2012