Ohio statutes mandate that an “Ohio Child Support Guidelines Advisory Council” convene once every four years with the purpose of reviewing Ohio’s child support related statutes, and recommending appropriate changes to Ohio’s legislatures.
Personally, I feel that in years past, the Child Support Guidelines Councils have been nothing more than a “horse and pony show”. Lets be honest with ourselves, Kim Newsom Bridges, Executive Director, Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency Directors Association, brazenly sat on the “Deviations Subcommittee” as a member of the 2005 Ohio Child Support Advisory Council.
So what you say? What’s your point? My point is that as the Executive Director of Ohio’s 88 county child support enforcement agencies, Ms. Newsom Bridges primary task is to maximize Ohio’s statewide child support collections, and at any costs.
Why? It’s simple, as explained in minute detail on our sister-site http://www.ohiofathersrights.com Ohio’s child support collections efforts have grown increasingly abusive, destructive and hateful, after the State of Ohio discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars in profits can be made annually from child support collections. How? By simply securing the largest share of the “Title-IV Social Security Funded Federal Incentive Match” of the federal governments “incentive pie” that’s distributed annually and split amongst the 50 states.
After it became obvious that child support collections were no longer about the best interests of the children, but rather solely out of the state’s concern for maximizing it’s share of the “federal incentive pie”, federal legislation was introduced as House Bill 1386 titled “The Child Support Protection Act of 2007” (H.R.1386).
H.R. 1386 would finally out an end to the abusive practices of Ohio’s 88 Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEA’s) that were driving Ohio’s Fathers into bankruptcy, homelessness, to suicide, and incarcerating them. By removing Ohio’s profiteering from its statewide child support collections, Ohio’s CSEA’s would no longer be financially incentivized to destroy the lives of an criminalize innocent and loving fathers who fell behind in their child support payments through no fault of their own.
Ohio’s prisons are filled with fathers who were convicted of felony criminal non-support of a minor child only because they were involuntarily unemployed (through no fault of their own) due to reasons such as layoffs, heart-attack, cancer, paralysis, stroke and other misfortune that resulted in a total loss of income.
Kim Newsom Bridges, acting as the statewide Executive Director of Ohio’s 88 county child support enforcement agencies issued a “strong statement of support” for H.R. 1386 in a letter she presented to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Reading through the letter, you will notice how she refers to child support collections as an “investment” and further explains that Ohio’s “profit” aka it’s “return on investment” is $5.66.
Why is the State of Ohio profiting off of fathers that it has bankrupted, incarcerated, driven to suicide, criminalized, and caused to be homeless? Something is seriously wrong when Ms. Newsom Bridges is more concerned about Ohio’s profits from its child support collections, than she is with those children who buried their fathers who committed suicide after having been driven into complete despair and hopelessness by the “system” itself.
Why is Ms. Newsom Bridges, as Executive Director of Ohio’s Child Support Enforcement Agencies Director’s Association not concerned with David Rose’s Children? Those children who are prohibited by law from visiting their father in prison as he “does time” (6 month sentence) after having been wrongfully convicted of felony non-support? Mr. Rose was actually overpaid in his child support when he was indicted by the Darke County CSEA! (Please search our blog using the Blog Search at the top right of your screen and use ‘david rose’ as keywords for more information about his case.)
When I personally expressed my concerns about Darke County’s Caseworker Mallot’s treatment of Mr. Rose to the Darke County CSEA “Directors” Joel Schinke and Gracie Ratliff, their replies to my letter were absolutely appalling. After I explained that Mr. Rose’s innocence could be proven, Mr. Schinke responded by implying I and Mr. Rose were liars, while Ms. Ratliff implied that Mr. Rose was a “deadbeat.” Where were Ms. Bridge’s concerns when David Rose was incarcerated as an innocent man?
How do you know Mr. Rose was innocent you asks? It’s simple, what the Darke County CSEA did to him, the Hamilton County CSEA is doing to me. The Darke County CSEA seized Mr. Rose’s tax refund but refused to credit him for the thousands of dollars they seized. The CSEA will seize a father’s tax return for an arrears, but does not credit him for said monies until after six months has passed.
In the mean time, the CSEA continues punishing the father (while they keep his money from him and the custodial parent) and may actually indict him for felony non-support (as they did to Mr. Rose) while they hold his money and collect the interest from it! As I explained in a post two days ago, the Hamilton County CSEA seized $4200 of my wife’s tax rebate and refund, yet will not credit my account for the monies for six months post seizure.
They take our money, and in doing so take away our ability to pay an “arrears” off, collect the interest on the seized funds, and then they indict us, convict us and incarcerate us? How about they give us (and our spouses) our own monies back so that we can pay the alleged arrears to avoid a felony indictment and the ensuing prison sentence? Isn’t that reasonable?
Back to the second paragraph above, the audacity of Ms. Newsom Bridges sitting on the “Deviations Subcommittee” as a 2005 Ohio Child Support Guidelines Council member is more than appalling, it’s absolutely astonishing after you understand what the words “deviations subcommittee” mean.
Feel free to read through the 2005 Guidelines Committee Report, however I will briefly explain the significance of the Executive Director of the Ohio’s 88 Child Support Enforcement Agencies sitting on a “deviations subcommittee.” The 2005 Deviations Subcommittee was tasked with recommending reasons to “lower” child support payments. I was born at night, but I wasn’t born yesterday.
After reading through Ms. Newsom Bridges ‘strong statement of support’ in her letter (in the link above) to the Subcommittee on Ways and Means, it’s apparent that she is concerned about her agencies profits (aka ‘federal incentive match’) on child support collections more than anything else.
Ohio’s annual “cut” of the federal incentive “pie” is directly proportional to the total amount of child support dollars (collected statewide) in any given year. In other words, the more Ms. Newsom Bridge’s 88 county-level child support enforcement agencies collect annually in child support payments, the higher Ohio’s “profit” will be when the federal government splits the annual incentive match among the 50 states.
That said, what are the chances that Ms. Newsom Bridges while sitting as a Deviations Subcommittee Member on the 2005 Ohio Child Support Guidelines Council actually recommended legislative changes that lower an obligor’s monthly child support obligation? Zero! It didn’t happen and it never will, period.
Her goals in her volunteer position as a 2005 Child Support Guidelines Council Deviations Subcommittee member were completely contradictory to her paid position as the Executive Director of the Child Support Enforcement Agency Directors Association. Which goals do you think Ms. Newsom Bridges achieved in 2005? I can assure you that none of the changes recommended by the public (regarding downward deviations in child support calculations) were presented to Ohio’s legislators to be written into law.
Ms. Newsom Bridges as the Executive Director of Ohio’s 88 Child Support Enforcement Agencies is responsible for maximizing Ohio’s child support collections so as to maximize Ohio’s share of the federal incentive pie. In 2003, I believe that Ohio’s “cut” of the federal pie was $223 million dollars. Ms. Newsom Bridges is credited with “earning” Ohio almost a quarter-billion dollars in profits that year as the lives of many of Ohio’s fathers were destroyed out of sheer greed.
Honestly, I expect the 2009 Ohio Child Support Guidelines Council to be yet another “horse and pony show.” However, the State of Ohio has begun to “cut and run” as more and more of the corruption surrounding child support collections is exposed publicly. This is evidenced by Ohio’s decision to end their annual “Deadbeat Dad” roundups in 2007.
Please understand that we are not against paying child support, and we don’t oppose paying reasonable amounts of child support to custodial parents who actually need the money, and spend said money on the children. Our philosophy is that both parents should equally share in the costs of raising their children.
The way Ohio’s child support statutes are presently written, the non-custodial parent in many situations actually pays 100% of the cost of raising the children and in many cases, is actually forced into living in poverty as a result. Even more disgusting is that additional child support monies actually fund a custodial parents extravagant lifestyle. Sadly, in some cases, the non-custodial parent is forced to support a custodial parents drug or alcohol addiction.
As a result, many children are financially neglected and do without many necessities. This is because those such as Ms. Newsom Bridges oppose enacting legislation that would require holding the custodial parents accountable regarding how they spend child support payments. The reason she and others oppose accountability is because many support orders would be lowered significantly after the custodial parent couldn’t account for how they spend $3000 per month in child support payments. This would therefore result in a lower “cut” of the federal incentive pie given that it’s directly proportional to the annual amount of total child support dollars collected.
Child support obligations set in amounts so high that they bankrupt fathers, drive them to suicide and into homelessness are unconscionable and certainly not in the best interests of any of our children. Orders such as that are more common than not. Somethings wrong when a father cannot afford to heat his own home during Ohio’s brutally cold winters. Is that really in the best interest of the child when they shiver at dads “home.”
Ohio’s child support statutes are antiquated as they are more than 30 years old. Things were very different in the 70’s, but we’re no longer living in the 70’s. Therefore, our child support statutes should no longer be written as if we were living in said era. The only “updates” to Ohio’s statutes in the past 30 years are those statutes that were amended so as to collect more child support from the non-custodial parent, as well as to force more of the financial burden of raising the children on them. Why? Simply to increase Ohio’s cut of the federal pie through higher child support orders.
Please attend the public forums listed below and express your opinions so that you may be heard. Working together, we can fix a very destructive system, a system that currently profits off of the destruction it causes in the lives of countless innocent Ohio children. A system that is not in the best interests of Ohio’s children, but rather a system that is in the best financial interests of Ohio, at the expense of her children.
Dates and times of forums are as follows:
Cuyahoga County: Tuesday, August 5th, 11am-1pm AND 5pm-7pm Visiting Nurses
Association, 2500 E. 22nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Hamilton County: Monday, August 18th, 11am-1pm AND 5pm-7pm Taft Building, 237
William Howard Taft Road, Cincinnati, Ohio
Scioto County: Friday, August 22nd, 11am-1pm*Scioto County CSEA, 710 Court
Street, Portsmouth, Ohio
Athens County: Friday, August 22nd, 5pm-7pm ODJFS PAAR Facility, 88 North
Plains Road, The Plains, Ohio
If you or your program participants are unable to attend a forum, input and feedback to
the Guidelines Council can be provided through the Guidelines website. Comments can be
made through September at: http://www.jfs.ohio.gov/csguidelines
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights