When a parent cannot afford child support in Ohio, he or she should request a review and adjustment of support orders from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. If a parent does not request a review and adjustment, and if he or she fails to make child support payments, the state may impose drastic and costly consequences.
According to the DOJ, a person may request an administrative review of a child support order in one of two circumstances. The first is if it has been at least 36 months since the judge first issued or modified the order. The second is if either parent has experienced a significant change in circumstances. Significant changes in circumstances may include job loss, change in health status or decrease in earnings, among other things.
Upon requesting an administrative review, a person must submit documents to support his or her case for support modification. Evidence the child support enforcement agency looks for includes but is not limited to proof of public assistance, documents from an employer, evidence of unemployment compensation benefits and personal statements. The CSEA uses this information to determine a person’s eligibility for administrative review.
Upon receipt of both the petition for review and supporting evidence, the CSEA must make a determination within 15 days. The speedy turnaround time is necessary to ensure parents who are already behind do not fall further behind. If the petitioning parent is an active member of the U.S. military, and if the basis of the request is because he or she plans to deploy for more than 30 days, the CSEA must make a determination within three business days.
If a party fails to petition for an administrative review of a child support order and continues to not make payments, the recipient party may file a complaint with the CSEA. According to FindLaw, the enforcement agency may then take one or more enforcement actions. Some ways the agency goes about collecting delinquent child support payments include withholding income, garnishing workers’ compensation benefits, garnishing state and federal tax returns, suspending a party’s driver’s and/or professional licenses and/or placing liens on the parent’s real or personal property. In cases in which the amount overdue is outstanding, the CSEA may issue a bench warrant for the parent’s arrest. The courts may hold the parent in contempt of court, which could result in jail time.