Many Ohioans who have been through a divorce and are now a noncustodial parent have a lot on their minds. They may have lost a significant amount of property in the dissolution process, be forced to pay alimony, and struggle to fulfill their child support obligations. Usually when these individuals fall behind on their support payments, they must go before a judge. In child support matters, nonpayment can lead to jail and even a felony conviction.
Yet, jailing a noncompliant parent does little to help him or her and the child to which he or she owes money. Instead, it strips them of their ability to find meaningful work and get back on their feet. Fortunately, though, Franklin County is beginning to take a different approach. Utilizing "The Compass Program," help is given to these individuals to assist them in finding employment, acquiring job training, obtaining a high school diploma, and, if necessary, even aiding them in treating substance abuse problems.
Local legal officials and social service workers hope the program will eat into their case load. Currently, Child Support Enforcement handles more than 70,000 cases. Their efforts allow children to recover more than $170 million per year, but that may not be enough as owing parents are continued to be placed behind bars for nonpayment.
Though the state may be doing its part to ease the burden of owed child support, those falling behind on payments should be proactive about their situation. These individuals may be able to take legal action to modify the amount of support they owe, allowing them to remain active in their child's financial life without being unable to provide for him or herself. Therefore, those facing child support difficulties may wish to speak with an attorney skilled at handling post-divorce modifications.
Source: WBNS-10TV, "Franklin County Courts Using Innovative Child Support Program," Jerry Revish, May 27, 2015