Each year, more than $100 million in ordered child support payments go unpaid in the state of Ohio. Analysts estimate that one of the reasons this happens has to do with the non-custodial parent who's responsible for making those payments ducking wage garnishments by taking on work that's off the books.
A new child support reform bill has already received a stamp of approval from Ohio state legislators and is now on Governor John Kasich's desk awaiting his signature. If he signs off on it, the bill will change the way that child support payments are calculated.
If passed, parenting time or child care arrangements, parental income, medical costs and health insurance would all impact how child support payment determinations are made.
Under the existing calculation formula for child support, which went into existence in 1992, it caps out a family's combined income at $150,000.
The new law would cap it at $300,000. Additionally, state workers wouldn't have to wait for legislators to get around to adjusting formulas to reflect changing incomes in the future. Instead, state workers would have the authority to modify the formula tables used themselves when the need arises.
The new law would also increase the minimum amount that parents are asked to pay in child support from $50 to $80 per month.
Low-income parents would continue to be protected from being exploited by formula changes. They would be covered by a self-sufficiency reserve that helps ensure that they wouldn't have to pay support beyond what they're capable of covering. They'd also only have to pay one-half of childcare costs up to an established cap.
Some of the law's opponents fear that the new law will pave the way to some parents receiving far less child support than they historically have in the past, a situation that may make it difficult for them to comfortably raise their kids.
Child support is supposed to cover some of the basic expenses associated with raising children. There are many non-custodial parents that either fail to disclose the full extent of their income or remain underemployed in hopes of not having pay their fair share.
A Westerville modifications and enforcement attorney can advise you of legal options that this new law could make available for your situation.