Child Support Services
The Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, Child Support Enforcement Division, contributes to the well being of children through the establishment of paternity and the establishment and enforcement of court-ordered child support and medical support obligations. The Assistant Prosecutor represents the State of Ohio/Lake County Department of Job and Family Services/Child Support Enforcement Agency, and no attorney-client relationship exists between the Assistant Prosecutor and any individual party. No party can initiate an action directly with the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office. All cases are referred to this office by the Lake County Child Support Enforcement Agency for consideration.
Judicial Actions Initiated by the Prosecutor’s Office
Establishment of Paternity
The legal determination of fatherhood is important for children born outside of marriage. It is the first step prior to the establishment of a child support or medical support order. Genetic testing is available and generally ordered by the Court for all paternity cases. The DNA test utilized with buccal (oral, mouth or cheek) swabs is used throughout the country and is more than 99% accurate. Either mother or putative father may request services from the Child Support Enforcement Agency to determine the existence or non-existence of a parent and child relationship. Specific questions about the individuals and their relationship will be asked.
Establishment of a Judicial Child Support Order
Once parentage of a child(ren) is known or established, the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office may file a complaint in the Juvenile Court on behalf of the Lake County Child Support Enforcement Agency to establish a child support and medical support order. Child Support in Ohio is based on statutory guidelines and includes income of both parents, medical costs, other dependants and child care costs. Appearances at both the Prosecutor’s Office and Juvenile Court are required by the initiating party in the court action for the case to proceed. Once a court order has been established, the Lake County Child Support Enforcement Agency will proceed with enforcement.
Enforcement of Court Ordered Child Support
If the absent parent (Obligor) fails to obey his/her court order of support, the Lake County Child Support Enforcement Agency may refer the case to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Once the case is reviewed, an action may be filed on behalf of the Child Support Enforcement Agency for enforcement. These actions may be either civil or criminal. That decision is made on a case by case basis after thorough assessment by an Assistant Prosecutor. Once a court order is issued, the case will return to the Child Support Enforcement Agency for monitoring.
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