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Lake County, Ohio - Job and Family Services

Enforcing Child Support

    Enforcement of the Child Support Order

    A main objective of the Child Support Enforcement program is to make sure that child support payments are made regularly and in the correct amount. While many non-custodial parents are involved in their children's lives and are willing to pay child support, lapses of payment do occur. When they do, a family's budget can be quickly and seriously threatened, and the anxiety the custodial parent feels can easily disrupt the family's life.

    In addition to wage withholdings, Ohio law allows our office to utilize other administrative enforcement techniques, which include but are not limited to:

    • Seizing State and Federal income tax returns
    • Suspending driver's, professional, and recreational licenses
    • Imposing liens on real or personal property with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the support debt
    • Seizing bank accounts
    • Revoking the ability to obtain or renew a passport for out-of-the-country travel
    • Credit Reporting

    Cases can also be referred to the Prosecutor's Office for legal intervention when support payments are not being made. The non-custodial parent will be summoned to court to show why he or she should not be held in contempt for not paying support as ordered, and depending on the offense, can be sentenced to jail.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q. Can a wage withholding be requested for my child support payments?

    A. Yes. All support orders issued or modified must include a provision for wage withholding.

    Q. Can past-due child support be taken from the State income tax refund?

    A. Under Federal law, all States with State income tax must offset State income tax refunds for past-due support owed.

    Q. Can Federal income tax refunds be offset the same way?

    A. Yes, States can request an offset of Federal income tax refunds for past-due support.

    Q. The children's father lost his job and is collecting unemployment compensation. Can child support payments be deducted and sent to me?

    A. Yes. Unemployment compensation, and other State and Federal benefits can be withheld for child support.

    Q. 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 CSED collect that money for me?

    A. Yes, our office is required to collect the back support.

    Fact Sheets:
    Administrative Enforcement Tools
    Tax Offset
    Arrearages:  What are they?

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