Understanding Ohio’s Calloused Indifference Towards Laying Waste to People’s Lives

Following are questions repeatedly asked of me by many of Ohio’s non-custodial, child support paying parents who are scared, confused, and suffering because of Ohio’s inhumane and hateful punitive child support collection practices.

“Why does the state of Ohio destroy the lives of non-custodial child support paying parents? Even worse, don’t they care about the children of those parent who are affected by their punitive child support collection efforts? How is incarcerating a parent who fell behind in child support in the best interest of the children as they claim? Why do Ohio’s Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs) suspend the drivers licenses and professional licenses of loving, caring parents who fell behind in child support? How do they expect us to work? Don’t they know that a felony conviction for non-payment of support will make it more difficult for me to secure employment, and that many higher-paying employers are prohibited by law from hiring a convicted felon?”

As explained on our original website, Ohio receives annual taxpayer funded financial rewards known as “federal incentive matches” from the federal government for every child support dollar that passes through its 88 county Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs). The more Ohio collects in child support payments, the larger their share of the annual “federal incentive pie”.

If my memory serves me correctly, Ohio was paid .67 cents by the federal government for every child support dollar collected in 2006 on every case labeled as a “Title-IV Welfare case.” By labeling middle and upper class child support cases as Title-IV Welfare, Ohio gains access to the higher-income NCPs who have deeper pockets to mine. Keep in mind that Ohio’s federal incentive match is performance based and directly proportional to the total amount of annual child support dollars collected statewide.

By labeling this class of mostly college educated, white-collared professional worker’s child support orders as Title-IV Welfare, Ohio’s highest income earners are now forced to contribute their dollars to the financial pool used to determine Ohio’s percentage of the federal incentive match. A paragraph found in the previous link includes the following quote by Lary Holland, a Title-IV Welfare expert from Michigan.

“There are no limitations for participation, or eligibility requirements for recipients of the Title IV-D welfare program. This lack of eligibility requirements has been used to trap otherwise willing and fit parents, particularly of the middle-class, into participating in this program for the purpose of increasing federal reporting numbers. The forced inclusion of the middle-class maximizes the federal block grants being allocated for the operation of each state’s Title IV-D welfare program. The Title IV-D welfare model isolates children from an otherwise willing custodian.”

Ohio politicians openly admit in H.R. 4678 that child support collections must be increased to place the burden of funding its statewide welfare program onto its one-million child support paying non-custodial parents (NCPs).

Ohio will deny welfare assistance to any applicant receiving child support from another parent through a mutually agreed to private agreement, unless they agree to allow the CSEA to, “assist them” by collecting their child support payments for them. Furthermore, a parent who by using canceled checks, can prove they paid their child support privately to the other parent for 18 years is declared to be a “deadbeat” and in arrears by Ohio’s CSEAs. Whether $10,000 or $100,000 was paid privately, the non-custodial parent (NCPs) must pay said monies a second time, only with 18 years of compounding interest and penalties added to punish them for their previous non-compliance.

Why? Ohio amended their statutes to legally declare said payments as “gifts” under Ohio law. This was done to force countless Ohioans whose child support obligations were privately satisfied in their entirety into Ohio’s Title-IV Welfare pool. A financial pool that is wholly funded by taxpayers through the social security earnings tax.

Now that they’ve, “entered the pool,” their entire child support obligation that can span up to 21 years must be paid a second time. Only this time, compounded interest and penalties are added as a, “punishment” for their willful non-compliance. This is done to increase Ohio’s child support collections to “earn” an even larger share of the federal pie at the expense of these unfortunate parents.

Those who are foolish enough to refuse to pay a second time and insist they can prove through canceled checks that their entire obligation was completely satisfied are threatened with a criminal indictment. They must either, “pay up” or face incarceration after their conviction on a criminal felony non-support charge. Those canceled checks will do them no good at trial when Ohio’s statutes clearly state that their 21 years of child support payments were given to the custodial parent as a gift.

As if Ohio’s NCPs weren’t paying enough through their child support and medical support orders, whereby they’re forced to support the state’s welfare recipients, the custodial parent’s family, and their existing families, the statutes were amended last year to force Ohio’s NCPs off of state funded health insurance programs provided through Medicaid.

So for those NCPs who were fortunate enough to qualify for public assistance in the form of Medicaid, Ohio’s statutes were amended to specify that they must provide “private” insurance for their children. This forced many NCPs who were already financially crippled and bankrupted by outrageously high child support orders, and who have little to no disposable income off of Medicaid.

Those who refuse to purchase private insurance at $500+ dollars a month because they don’t have the ability to pay are in contempt of a court order, and subject to fines and incarceration. Telling the court, “I can’t afford it” is not an acceptable excuse, it’s willful disobedience to a court order.

Tony Fantetti

Ohio Council for Fathers Rights

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