Enforcement Overview

Once a support order is established, there are several methods the Wood County CSEA may use to enforce the order.

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.

The following judicial tools can be used for enforcement of an order:

Contempt charges against the Obligor
Criminal 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 pretrial negotiations 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.

Income withholding

The most common method of collecting child support is by wage withholding, which is mandated by the court order. This is implemented as soon as an employer or other income source is verified. 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. 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.

Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

Some times, it is necessary to utilize the assistance of another State’s Child Support Agency to successfully establish, enforce and/or modify an existing child support order. This process is known as Interstate Action. If we are unable to verify employment, the custodial parent can request to proceed with an action under UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) which will allow the other state agency to enforce the order.

Federal and State Tax Offset

Federal and state laws allow Ohio to intercept state and federal tax refunds if the person receiving the refund is behind in court ordered child support payments. The tax refund is forwarded to the obligee, which could be the state of Ohio if public assistance reimbursement is owed. Federal tax intercept payments are the only payment that will first be applied to an arrearage owed to the state of Ohio if public assistance reimbursement is owed.

Job Readiness

If unemployed and unable to pay the full child support obligation, an obligor may enroll in the CSEA Job Readiness Program. Enrollment in the Job Readiness Program may be court ordered or voluntary. For more information on the Job Readiness Program contact the CSEA. The obligor/payor must attempt to find employment. If they do not comply with the Job Readiness requirements, the case may be referred to our Legal Department for contempt.

License Suspension

A notice to suspend may be sent to every licensing board in Ohio that has authority to issue or has issued the individual a license. The Board/Registrar will be prohibited from issuing or renewing any license to the individual and will not reinstate a suspended license until receipt of a notice from the Child Support Agency releasing the suspension.

The licenses subject to this regulation are:

  • Driver’s license, including motorcycle operator’s license, commercial driver’s license, and temporary permit
  • Professional license - a license that authorizes an individual to engage in an occupation or profession
  • Recreational license issued by the Division of Wildlife

United States Passports will also be suspended or denied automatically if arrears exceed $2,500. The Agency must follow specific criteria to request the release of a passport once it has been denied.

If your license has been suspended as a result of failure to comply with a court order, you may contact our office at 419.354.9270 to make arrangements to pay your support, and obtain reinstatement of your license. Once the child support office has released the suspension of your driver's license, you will need to apply for reinstatement at one of the seven Ohio BMV branches that offer this service.

Reinstatement fees may be paid:

All other reinstatement requirements such as court appearances, clearing suspensions in other states, community service or filing of proof of insurance must also be completed before the BMV can restore full driving privileges. If all of these requirements have been met, the driver will be given notification online at the time the payment is made and will receive follow up in the mail.

National Medical Support Notice

Federal legislation requires the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to be used to notify an employer of an employee’s court ordered responsibility to provide health insurance coverage for the children who are the subject of a child support order. Generally speaking, upon receipt of the notice, the employer is required to complete the form and provide the requested health insurance information regarding health insurance availability to the CSEA. Employers are then required to enroll the child under the available plan and to withhold employee contributions necessary for coverage of the children.

In order to inform the employee about the NMSN activity, the CSEA will send A Notice of Medical Support Enforcement Activity directly to the employee. Once the employee receives the notice, they may make a written request for an administrative hearing to determine whether a Mistake of Fact was made in the NMSN. During the Hearing, two issues would be addressed:

Correctly identifying the party responsible for health insurance coverage.
Correctly identifying the children covered under the health insurance order.

"Reasonable" health insurance costs

Federal regulations identify “reasonable costs” for health insurance as the costs of any plan “available through an employer.” In addition, Ohio regulations require an employer to ensure that the amount of child support and the amount of the health insurance premium do not surpass the limits established under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. This limit can equal as much as 65% of net disposable earnings.