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Ohio officials raise child support enforcement goals for 2015

In Ohio, child support obligations are determined based on a set of guidelines that includes factors such as a parent’s ability to pay. These obligations are a legally binding and enforceable order that the government takes seriously. In fact, they are one of the special debts that cannot be easily wiped out during bankruptcy.

The law understands that life happens, which is why there is a way to modify these orders when circumstances change. For instance, if the obligated parent incurs job loss, this could be the basis for a modification. Without this court-approved modification, a parent is still legally obligated to pay the full amount -- something that doesn’t happen in all cases.

Ohio state officials are asking that counties step up their enforcement efforts. In fact, officials want each county to raise their child support collections by at least 10 percent by 2015. The average across the state currently sits at 66.5 percent. Officials want each county to hit the 70 percent collection rate.

For some counties, like Medina County with a current 75 percent, this goal will not be as difficult as it would be for other counties, like Cuyahoga County. County officials in Cuyahoga argue that the goal is “unrealistic” when looking at the ways in which the local economies differ.

Although some counties have their concerns, the child support enforcement agencies are reportedly doing what they can to organize staff and resources in order to meet the goal that state officials have in mind with the looming “I-70 Project.”

For those parents that do have a child support issue, whether it is enforcing an obligation, defending against allegations of the failure to pay or seeking a modification, a divorce attorney is there to help.

Source: WKSU, “Counties question Ohio’s new child-support goals,” Amy Cooknick and M.L. Schultze, Sept. 15, 2013

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