Category Archives: Child Support

Active Military Service and Child Support | Columbus Ohio Attorney

Adjustment in child support obligation is available to obligors called to active military service

 

Child support obligors whose income is reduced due to being called to active military service can prevent financial hardship or falling into child support arrears by seeking a modification of their child support obligation.  This relief can be significant because if the child support is not paid pursuant to the Court orders that are in effect, the obligor can be charged with contempt of Court and could potentially be subject to incarceration.

 

Ohio has made it possible for child support obligors, who are called to active military service for a period of thirty days or more, to request an immediate review of their child support order for the purpose of obtaining a modification of the amount of support required under the prior order.  These provisions are contained in Ohio Revised Code §3119.77 and the associated sections that follow.

 

The request for modification must be submitted to the child support enforcement agency that is currently administering the order.  The request must specify that the reason for the modification is the obligor’s active military service and must include with the request a copy of the orders or other appropriate documentation specifying the commencement date of the obligor’s active military service and the monthly monetary compensation for that service, together with documentation of any other income.

 

In order to facilitate the process, the servicemember may provide the child support enforcement agency with a military power of attorney executed pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 10446, designating another individual to act in their behalf during the administrative review and modification.  By designating another individual to so act on behalf of the obligor, the obligor waives any right of an appearance and any right to request a stay of the action or proceeding under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, but this allows the matter to proceed in their absence.

 

If a child support obligation is modified pursuant to this provision, the modification relates back to the later of the date the child support enforcement agency sent notice of the review or the first day of the month in which the obligor’s active military service begins.

 

The new order shall specify that the modification will terminate and the prior amount of support be reinstated as of the first day of the month following the date that the obligor’s active military service ends.  (Pursuant to the modification order, the obligor is required to provide written notice to the child support enforcement agency of the date of the obligor’s termination of active military service prior to the last day of the month in which the active service ends.  However, if after the termination of the obligor’s active military service, it becomes apparent that the obligor’s employer has violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C., This violation shall constitute a change of circumstances sufficient to permit a new review of the obligor’s support obligation, based upon the obligor’s then current employment situation.