The child support program touches more children than any other public program in the State of Ohio with the exception of education.
The purpose of the child support program is to provide children with the opportunity for a better life by insuring that they get the monetary support and health care they are entitled to as ordered by the court.
The services that are offered by our agency include:
• Locating non-residential parents,
• Establishing paternity (Paternity can be established up to the child’s 23rd birthday)
• Establishing a child support or medical support order
• Modification of existing child support orders
• Enforcement of existing child support and or medical support orders
• Collection and disbursement of payments
• Education and outreach about the child support program and referrals for community and government services
A child’s parent, guardian or legal custodian may contact the CSEA to request assistance in obtaining an order for child support and medical support by completing the IV-D application, however, if an individual is a current or former recipient of Ohio Works First (OWF), Medicaid, or Title IV-E foster care maintenance (FCM) they are already eligible for our services. Ashtabula County was honored in 2006 for being the most improved large county in the state in this area in the establishment of support orders.
The only cases which are not eligible to receive all IV-D services are spousal support only cases. However, if a case includes both child support and alimony/spousal support, then the case would qualify for all IV-D services. Services for which IV-D cases are entitled to receive and non-IV-D cases are not eligible to receive include the following:
• Federal Income Tax Refund Offset
• Withholding of unemployment compensation for the payment of support
• Request to the Internal Revenue of disclosure of taxpayer information for use in establishing and collecting support obligations
• Requests to the internal revenue service for the collection of delinquent support
• Interstate assistance
Paternity can be established when the man and mother sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity form at the hospital, CSEA or health department stating the man is the child’s father or the man, child and mother submit to DNA testing and there is at least a 99% chance the man is the child’s father, or the parents go to court to determine paternity. Ashtabula County has an establishment rate of 93.54% while the state has an establishment rate of 100.93%.
After paternity has been established, a support order is established using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines. The Ohio Child Support Guidelines are based on the Income Shares Model. The Income Shares Model is predicated on the concept that the child should receive the same proportion of parental income that he or she would have received if the parents lived together.
Enforcement of a Support Order
When payments in child support fall behind, the case is considered to be in arrears. Some of the methods used to collect these arrears include:
• Credit reporting
• Professional and driver license suspension (Ashtabula ranks 13th in the use of this tool). Over 50% of our case load have had their Drivers License suspended at some time
• Increase in the amount of income withholding to pay on the back support
• Use of Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM)
• Tax offset to collect federal/and or state tax refunds
• Order to Work/Seek Work
• Contempt of Court
• Lottery prize winnings
• Criminal non-support (for a misdemeanor or federal offense, the non-payment must be willful, the obligation must be unpaid for at least one year or be greater than $5, 000)
• Passport denial / $2, 500 arrears as of October 2006
Modification of Support Orders
Child support orders must be reviewed every 36 months if the oblige is receiving public assistance. A review may be requested by either party every 36 months from the establishment of the order or date of the most recent review. A review may occur sooner than 36 months in the following circumstances:
• A change in employment status of the obligor
• If either party experiences a loss of employment or a 30% or more in reduction in income for a period of six months or more, which is beyond their control and is expected to continue for an extended period of time
• If either party becomes disabled
• If either party cannot pay support for the duration of the child’s minority because of institutionalization and no income or assets are available to the party which could be levied or attached for support
• To add additional children born to both parents to an existing order
• To access available health insurance
• If the current support award was established as a deviation from the Guidelines amount and the petitioner can show a change in the circumstances that led to the deviation, which are no longer true
• If a custodial parent receives any type of OWF benefits and no support order exists
*There must be at least 10% change in the amount ordered for the order to be modified.
All child support payments are sent to Child Support Payment Central in Columbus. All payments paid direct to the recipient are considered gifts. Employers and non custodial parents can remit support payments to Ohio CSPC through direct debit of their checking or savings account using https://oh.smartchildsupport.com. There is no charge for this service.
Non-custodial parents can remit their payments using a credit card on the
Obligees (recipients) and obligors (payers) can access payment information related to their child support case by calling the Interactive Voice Response System at 1-800-860-2555 and following the instructions to set up a personal identification number (PIN).
Payment information can also be accessed via a link on the Ohio Child Support Web Portal at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocs/. This website provides child support obligor’s and obligees with instant access to child support case information.
You will be able to gain access to your child support information.
• View & print payment history
• Receive information on how to change the way you receive payments
• Learn various ways to make payments
• Verify your contact info is correct
• Correspond with your service representative
The State of Ohio requires all child support payments to be processed electronically rather than by paper checks. Recipients of child support are given the option of having their child support payments deposited directly into their checking or savings account or to receive the smiOne Card Debit MasterCard.
Direct deposit allows an obligee’s child support payments to be deposited directly into a designated financial account. A transfer to the obligee’s account will be made automatically after the state receives and posts payment on the recipients’ case. For direct deposit enrollment forms, contact our office at 440-994-1212 or visit http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/jfs%2008080/pdf or call 1-888-965-2676.
The Ohio smiOne card is a Debit Card and not a credit card. It can not be used to perform transactions or purchases which exceed the amount of funds currently on the card. Also using the card to perform certain purchases may result in having a specified amount of funds frozen in a process called “pre-authorization”. This means, money is not available to the recipient until the charges are cleared and the credit card company has released the funds on the account.
In conclusion, Ashtabula County Child Support is available to anyone who may need our services. You can reach the CSEA by calling our CSEA call center. The telephone number is 440-994-1212. Please have your 10 digit case number, and or order number available. Our office hours are 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday.
For additional information concerning child support in the State of Ohio, please visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/Ocs/