Facing economic hardships? Don’t stop paying your child support

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Family Law

You know child support is vital for your child’s welfare, but what happens when you cannot pay due to financial or other hardships? In Ohio, it is crucial to understand the impact of non-payment and the potential legal avenues available to you so that you can effectively address this challenge.

Non-payment of child support can lead to severe consequences enforced by the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). Some tactics the CSEA employs to collect unpaid child support include:

  • Wage garnishment. They may withhold a portion of each paycheck
  • Tax intercept. They could take your tax refund
  • License suspension. They may suspend driving or professional licenses
  • Credit bureau reporting. They may report the non-payment to credit bureaus, affecting future financial opportunities

Action by the CSEA can strain your finances even more. Worse, it could affect your relationship with your child. They may feel neglected or uncared for.

Explore your options

When unpreventable job loss, medical emergencies or income reduction bars you from meeting your support obligations – take a proactive approach instead of hoping it will resolve itself.

Consider these two possible ways to show the CSEA you are a responsible co-parent and you care about supporting your kids:

  • File for child support modification. Ohio law permits child support order adjustments due to significant income changes. Filing as soon as problems arise can help you avoid worsening your situation.
  • Negotiate payment plans. The CSEA is not unsympathetic about financial problems. With legal guidance, you may succeed in negotiating a manageable payment plan to catch up on arrears.

Financial difficulties are stressful, but disregarding child support obligations is not a solution. Seeking legal support can facilitate effective communication with the CSEA, potentially leading to a remedy that suits everyone.