Acting as your child's primary caregiver is difficult enough after a divorce, but doing so without sufficient support can be even harder. However, things are set to change soon. Starting in April 2019, a new law will make it easier for custodial parents to not only receive an adequate amount of child support, but to also receive it in a timely, consistent manner.
Financial stability after a divorce is often the key to success for divorcees and their children alike. However, you already understand that ending a marriage can negatively affect virtually anyone's money situation. This is why post-divorce payments -- such as child support and alimony -- are so important. However, since only 30 percent of Ohio families who are supposed to receive $75 or less in child support every month ever get anything, a change was certainly in order.
When will it take effect?
In June 2018, Ohio's governor signed off on House Bill 366. Prior to this, the last time the state's child support system received an update was back in 1992. Lawmakers believe that the change to how support is calculated will help custodial parents -- particularly those who are low-income -- receive their support more regularly.
The ultimate goal is to get the system working better for everyone, though. This means proponents hope the new system will not only ensure support for custodial parents, but that it will also prevent those who are ordered to pay support from racking up massive amounts of debt that they will never be able to pay off.
The limit for support order calculations is changing, and courts will be able to calculate support involving parents who have combined incomes of as much as $300,000. The new formula will also consider things like medical expenses and regular health care coverage. It also raises the minimum support payment from $50 per month up to $80.
One of the biggest changes applies to parents in the low-income category. Using a self-sufficiency reserve according to the federal poverty level, it should ensure that even parents with uncertain incomes still make their payments. This goes back to the main point of the bill -- make sure custodial parents receive support and keep the other parent from going into debt.
Do you need a modification?
Even if you earn a sufficient income to support you and your child, their other parent still has a legal obligation to provide financial support. If he or she is not meeting that legal obligation, you may need to take action.
Petitioning the Ohio family law court for an enforcement or modification of a current order can be helpful in these situations. However, since family law is complicated and your child's financial stability is on the line, first consulting an experienced attorney can help make sure you are on the right path for success.