10 Day Letter
The first step in getting information is direct contact with the Obligor. A ten -day letter is sent requesting information about their employment situation. As the title indicates, the party is given 10 days to respond. The Case Manager marks their calendar to pull the file, allowing time for delivery of the letter and mailing of a response. If a response is received, the Case Manager will act on the information given. The action could be a new wage withholding to a new employer or unemployment compensation. If a disability is listed, another request may be needed to request a doctor’s statement and prognosis. These are just a few examples. If no response is received or the response is that they are no longer employed, the Case Manager would move to the next step.
A Seek Work Order is issued any time the Obligor is not employed, even if unemployment benefits are being attached. If a Seek Work Order has been issued, a reminder letter will be sent. A form is included with either mailing. The form must be used to collect signatures at 30 places of potential employment each month and returned to the agency. Proof of on-line application submittal to appropriate skill employment is also accepted. Failure to return the completed form may result in a contempt action or license suspension.
When the amount of unpaid child support exceeds the monthly obligation ordered by the court, the case is considered being in default. When default occurs, an additional order of up to 20% of the current obligation may be added to the income withholding. Before the additional amount is added, the OBLIGOR must be given notice and has fourteen (14) days to object to the action being taken against him/her. The notice, ODJFS 4049, Notice to OBLIGOR of Default and Potential Action is generated through SETS. If objections are raised, an administrative hearing is held to determine if the action is correct or if there are any errors in the arrearage balances before the additional amount is included. If no objections are filed, the additional 20% is added to the income withholding after the fourteen- day (14) period. The order remains in effect until the arrearage balance is $0.00. If the additional 20% is not paid each month, it does not accumulate as an additional arrearage.
Credit Reporting is done via SETS when the case falls into default and the ODJFS 4049 has been generated by SETS. The amount of the delinquency is reported to at least one Consumer Reporting Agency. Information includes the OBLIGOR’s name, address, social security number, any other identifying data and the amount of the arrearage.
Failure to comply with an order of the court subjects the party to possible civil contempt charges. This means that the Obligor must show the court why he/she failed to comply with the order. The first hearing is held in front of a Magistrate in Juvenile or Common Pleas court, according to where the entry was filed. A purge review hearing follows with a new court date set to give the OBLIGOR the opportunity to comply with the terms set out by the court. Failure to meet the terms of the purge may result in jail time. The First Offense carries 30 days. The Second Offense carries 60 days. The Third Offense carries 90 days. The court has the discretion to modify the jail sentence. Fines may also be levied against the Obligor.
Drivers’ License Suspension
Notice is sent via SETS to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) that the OBLIGOR is in default or has failed to comply with a warrant or subpoena and instructs the BMV not to renew or issue any license to the OBLIGOR, suspend any license currently held by the OBLIGOR, and not to reinstate any license until notified by the CSEA. Compliance is met when the CSEA determines the OBLIGOR is no longer in default due to the arrearage being paid in full or an appropriate income withholding has been issued to collect current support and any arrearage due under the child support order that was in default and the OBLIGOR is complying with the order.
Professional License Suspension
The CSEA will notify the licensing board that the OBLIGOR is in default or has failed to comply with a warrant or subpoena and instructs the board to not renew or issue any license to the OBLIGOR, suspend any license currently held by the OBLIGOR, and not to reinstate any license until notified by the CSEA. Compliance is met when the CSEA determines the OBLIGOR is no longer in default due to the arrearage being paid in full or an appropriate income withholding has been issued to collect current support and any arrearage due under the child support order that was in default and the OBLIGOR is complying with the order.
FIDM (Financial Institution Data Match)
Federal legislation requires that states enter into agreements with financial institutions doing business in the state to conduct matches of non-custodial parents who owe past due child support with funds on deposit in the financial institutions. The Federal Office of Child Support is responsible for the data match with multistage financial institutions. A financial institution may be a bank, savings and loan, thrift, federal or state credit union, benefit association, insurance company, safe deposit company, money market mutual fund, or similar institution. The agreements require the financial institution to provide the account information to Ohio CSEAs to implement freeze and seize for collection of a child support arrearage.
The request for a passport may be denied if the child support arrearage is equal to or greater than $2,500.00 for a single case.
If an Obligor fails to pay child support for a child under the age of 18 years for 26 weeks out of 104 consecutive weeks, he/she may be charged with criminal non-support. This is a Felony in the Fifth Degree that may result in a sentence of 6-12 months in prison and/or community control sanctions.