Although at first blush a recent article from the Chicago Tribune seems largely confined to subject matter within that state, the story in fact focuses on a central family law matter that is at the core of many disputes across the country, including in Ohio.
That matter concerns judicially ordered child support payments and their legal enforcement. As is clearly apparent from court decisions and perusal of child support-related stories garnering attention in the media, support matters are often at the core of contention in post-divorce disputes.
It is not hard to see why. In Ohio and elsewhere, judges’ support rulings are guided by a number of discretionary factors that are seldom immutable and sometimes hard to weigh. They include the income of both parties, an assessment of children’s schooling, medical and other needs and a host of other factors.
Because things can -- and often do -- change over time, that can render a judicial determination approximate at best and necessitate the need for an obligated payer to revisit payment duties down the road if circumstances change.
From a payer’s standpoint, the goal is commonly to adjust payments in a manner that are reasonable from the perspective of current -- not past -- financial realities.
The Tribune article notes that, spotlighting a case in which an ex-husband left one state to avoid making payments. His former spouse says that he is manipulating the system, but he counters that he has not received fair treatment and that his ex-wife’s assessment of what he owes is too high.
Modification of a past divorce decree is sometimes necessary to make equitable adjustments more closely aligned with current realities. An experienced post-divorce modification attorney well-grounded in support matters can help get that process started.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Child support challenges courts in Illinois," Lisa Black, Oct. 25, 2013