Child Support Enforcement with Punishment Up To Jail Time, But No Enforcement for Parenting Plans?

enforcing parenting plansMost domestic situations that end in divorce also end up having a child support payment going to one parent or the other. This is common knowledge, and nothing that most citizens are not aware of, because almost everyone seems to know someone that has a child support obligation or gets child support. Ever since child support was enacted into law in Ohio many years ago, there has also been a child support enforcement agency in every Ohio county which does exactly as the name suggests –  it enforces the child support obligation. Non-payment of child support can result in loss of driving privileges, and in some circumstances, even substantial amounts of jail time.

What is interesting is the common myth that “The police can enforce my parenting plan agreement.” That in NOT correct. A parenting plan is a civil order from a civil court, and police only enforce criminal law for the most part (with the exception of civil protection and stalking orders). Most police agencies will not do anything for citizens that call with problems associated with their parenting plans. If they do choose to do anything, it is only in the capacity of being a witness to an exchange of the child, which they may take a record of. However, the police will not, and are not authorized to enforce any parenting plan.

No such legislation has been introduced as a bill in either house, but it may be in the near future. The courts would then not have to devote docket time to so many contempt motions, and this would alleviate an already overwhelmed domestic relations court system state-wide.

There may be a change in the above mentioned dilemma in the years to come. Currently, the only thing a parent may do if th other parent will not honor the parenting plan that they are both bound to by is file a motion with the court for contempt. This is obviously an area of Ohio law that is lacking and needing attention.

There is talk in the Ohio legislature about developing measures to enforce the thousands of parenting plans, other than contempt motions. Ohio legislators are eagerly searching for a way to enact remedies similar to that which child support enforcement uses. The threat of loss of driving privileges and even jail time would likely make a parent think twice about not honoring a courts parenting plan order.

No such legislation has been introduced as a bill in either house, but it may be in the near future. The courts would then not have to devote docket time to so many contempt motions, and this would alleviate an already overwhelmed domestic relations system state-wide.

If you would like to discuss your particular situation in further detail, please contact the law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

To learn more about Ohio dissolutions, divorce, child support and parenting plans, please visit http://www.dissolutionanddivorce.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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