child support

Once a support order is established, there are several methods the Wood County Child Support Enforcement Agency uses to enforce the order.

The most common is by wage withholding, which is mandatory. This is implemented as soon as an employer is verified.

Other sources of "income" that are attachable include but are not limited to:

  • Personal earnings
  • Workers' Compensation payments
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Pensions
  • Annuities
  • Private or governmental retirement benefits
  • Disability or sick pay
  • Lottery prize awards
  • Lump sum payments
  • Assets in a financial institution

An obligor/payor who is self-employed, is required to send in the payments on their own. If they fail to do so, they may be held in contempt of court.

If an obligor/payor lives in another state and an employer is verified, a wage withholding order can be sent to the employer who is bound by law to follow the order.

If we are unable to verify employment, the custodial parent can proceed with an action under UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) which will allow the other state agency to enforce the order, See Interstate Cases for more information.

To enforce payment on arrears, Obligors are submitted for federal and state tax offset. This allows their tax refund to be intercepted and applied to arrears balances.

See Tax Offset Program page for more information. If the agency is unable to verify an employer after exhausting all efforts, the non-custodial parent will be placed on a Seek Work Order signed by the judge. The obligor/payor must attempt to find employment. If they do not comply, the case will be referred to our Legal Department for contempt.

  Enforcement of an order may include, but is not limited to:
  • Income withholding
  • Federal and State Tax Offset
  • Financial Institution Data Match
  • Credit reporting
  • Professional and driver's license suspension
  Judicial Enforcement Tools
  • Contempt charges against the Obligor
  • Misdemeanor charges against the Obligor
  • Felony charges against the Obligor
  • Liens, Attachments, Executions
  • Lump Sum Actions
  Agency attorneys and staff initiate and conduct the above referenced actions. In addition, the CSEA Attorneys have the responsibility to review cases for litigation, recommend appropriate legal proceedings, conduct pre-trial negotiation and collection activities, and finalize proceedings and appropriate court orders. The CSEA Attorney represents the state of Ohio. No attorney-client relationship exists between the attorney and any individual party.
  Each child support case is different and the remedies used to collect support can vary depending on the circumstances of the individual case.

It’s extremely important that you keep the CSEA apprised of your whereabouts, i.e., current employer and address.

Under current State Laws and language included in your support order you are to keep in touch with the CSEA, if you fail to do so or if you fall into default it is possible that any of the following action could occur to you:

  • income withholding to your employer
  • withholding may be imposed on funds on deposit in a financial institution
  • a lien may be imposed on your real and personal property
  • your arrearage will be reported to a credit reporting agency
  • your support case may be referred to a collection agency
  • an access restriction and a withdrawal directive may be placed on any account held by you at any financial institution
  • any professional license you hold may be proposed for suspension upon exhaustion of all rights to contest the advance notice.
  • your driver’s license may be suspended or not renewed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles upon exhaustion of all right to contest the advance notice
  • you may be refused a recreational license (e.g., hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, etc.) or any recreational license you hold may be suspend upon exhaustion of all rights to contest the advance notice
  • your state and federal income taxes can be intercepted
  • your passport may be suspended or denied.
  When can an order be enforced?

Pursuant to OHIO law and regulations promulgated by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), a CSEA can take action to enforce a support order when an obligation is one month or more in default. Governor Taft signed House Bill 657 on December 13, 2002.

The legislation became effective on the same date, enacting Ohio Revised Code Sections 3119.29-3119.56 and amending other sections of the code.

To be in “default”, an obligor, or person paying support, must have an arrearage greater than or equal to one month’s court or ordered obligation. Ohio support orders are, by law, administered on a monthly basis.

  What happens if the absent parent misses a payment?
  Pursuant to regulations issued by the State of Ohio, the CSEA takes action to enforce a support payment when the payment is one month or more in default. The CSEA will make inquires to determine why support is not being paid (illness, loss of employment, change in employment, etc.) The CSEA will work will all parties concerned if there is good reason why support is not being currently paid to see that support payment resume.
  What are child support arrears?

Child Support arrears are that sum of money that the records of the CSEA reflect the obligor owes but has not paid.

  How are child support arrears collected?
  The CSEA may request, through an administrative Notice of Default process, that an additional amount of support be deducted from the obligor’s wages. This is generally set at 20% of the current child support order. Arrears may also be collected through the interception of lump sums, federal and state income tax refunds, bonuses, lottery winnings, etc.
  Can a wage withholding be requested for my child support payments?
  Yes, all support orders issued or modified must include a provision for wage withholding
  Can I have the wage withholding applied to my existing child support order?
  Yes, you can apply for the wage withholding through our office for both ongoing support and arrearages.
  My ex-husband has a good job and is willing to have the payments deducted from his paycheck, but his employer won't do it. What can I do?
  Under Federal law, an employer must withhold the support if ordered to. If you run into problems with an employer, seek the assistance of our office.
  The children's father lost his job and is collecting unemployment compensation. Can child support payments be deducted and sent to me?
  Yes, unemployment compensation, and other State and Federal benefits can be withheld for child support.
  My children are over 18 and don't get child support any more, but there is still a $10,000 arrearage owed to me for support that was never paid. Will the CSE office collect that money for me?
  Yes, our office is required to collect the back support.
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