Child support can change your life for better or worse. It is important you find out what laws apply to you and what responsibilities you might have. Fortunately, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Child Support can provide you with information about all major child support matters.

Who Needs to Pay Child Support?

The parent who does not have the child usually pays child support to the parent with whom the child lives. Child support can be lowered if the child lives with both parents equally. However, if one parent earns a lot more money than the other, then shared custody is unlikely to change the amount.

How Do You Petition for Child Support?

To get child support, you can either file in court or apply through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA). Some of the information you might be asked for is the other parent’s name, address, social security number, date of birth, a physical description, and the name and address of any employer. You can fill out all the information you have and if any is missing CSEA will help you track down the other parent.

What If I Refuse to Pay Child Support?

If you do not pay child support in a timely manner, then you will face serious consequences. One of the main consequences of not paying child support is income withholding. Income refers to your paycheck, tax refund, unemployment benefits, lottery winnings, or any money in a bank account. CSEA can also report you to the credit bureaus or suspend your licenses. Additionally, the court may find you in contempt which can lead to a warrant and arrest.

Can Nonpayment Prohibit Me From Seeing My Kid?

Visitation is not tied in with child support. You have a right to see your kid even if you are behind child support. Thus, the other parent cannot withhold visitation just because you have not paid child support. If this is an issue, you can return to court to ask the court to enforce visitation.

How Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

If you want to stop paying child support, you have to put an end to it legally by applying for a change through the court. This is true even if you and the other parent have agreed to not continue with child support. If you doubt that you are the child’s biological parent, you can ask the court or CSEA for a paternity test. Otherwise, you are obligated to pay child support unless you take full custody or you lose your parental rights.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

Regardless of whether you are the parent that needs child support or the parent being asked to pay, you still need good representation in court. Therefore, you should talk to an Ohio child support lawyer for your child support case.