Cuyahoga County Ohio CSEA is Confiscating Cancer-Fighting Fathers Income

The Ohio Father’s email copied below is beyond sickening. It’s further proof that Ohio’s Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEAs) could not care less about the best interests of our children, while their profits on Title-IV child support collections remain their primary interest.

I am no longer shocked by the atrocities committed against Ohio Fathers by the CSEA’s in their relentless quest to seize up to 65% (the most allowed under Ohio law) of a Father’s monthly “gross” income, while forcing these same Fathers to live in poverty with their children. Keep in mind that the aforementioned 65% is calculated off of their gross monthly income, but taken out of their net monthly pay after they’ve paid the taxes on the money.

“The Federal Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)), sets the maximum amount that may be withheld from an employee’s paycheck. The federal withholding limits for child support and alimony are based on the Aggregate Disposable Weekly Earnings (ADWE) of the employee. The ADWE is calculated by taking the employee’s gross earnings (wages, bonuses, commissions and pensions) and subtracting taxes and mandatory retirement deductions. Health insurance premiums, union dues, other child support garnishments and money owed to the employer are not deductible when determining the ADWE. Ohio law requires that this maximum be followed.

The federal CCPA limit is 50 percent of the ADWE if the employee supports a second family and 60 percent if the employee does not support a second family.

This limit increases to 55 percent and 65 percent respectively if the employee owes arrearages that are 12 weeks or more past due.”

As disgusting as it is, the ODJFS admits that sometimes a Father’s earnings don’t stretch far enough to pay all of his, “claimants” and instructs its employees in how to prioritize who receives the Father’s paycheck. Are these people without shame? The ODJFS has actually titled the paragraph in the aforementioned link,”Prioritizing Multiple Deductions, Or What Does The Employer Pay First If There’s Not Enough Money To Go Around?”:

“However, sometimes an employee’s earnings do not stretch far enough to pay all his or her claimants. There are specific laws governing who is to be paid first. There are also laws protecting the employee from having his or her entire paycheck turned over to a third party. The Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) is a federal law that serves as the minimum protection to the employee. The CCPA limits on withholding an employee’s paycheck do not forgive the debt owed.”

Although the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services maintains on their website that taxes are to be subtracted out when determining how much to seize from a Father’s paycheck, this is misleading because when his child support order is set using a child support calculation worksheet, taxes are not deducted when determining his child support obligation.

Even though the “shock effect” of the unending heart-wrenching stories is no longer there, that’s not to say I am not saddened and heart-broken over what I continue to hear.

To clarify my position, I am not against paying child support. What I am against is the unconscionably high amounts of child support that many Fathers are forced to pay, based on statutes written 30 years ago when most women were stay-at-home moms without college degrees. Support orders that in some cases actually exceed a Father’s income, despite what Ohio’s CSEA’s claim.

Furthermore, I am against forcing a Father to live in poverty with his children while the mother in some situations is feeding a drug or alcohol addiction and or living an extravagant lifestyle off of her child support award. This, while distributing his entire paycheck (as described above) to his, “claimants.”

Ohio’s statutes state, “child support is presumed to be spent on the children.”

Ohio law presumes that both parents have a financial obligation to provide for their children. Pursuant to this policy, in practically all cases, each parent will have
a child support obligation. Except in cases of split custody, the obligation of the
parent who is the residential parent and legal custodian is presumed to be expended
directly on the children (ORC §3119.07). The child support obligation of the
parent who is not the residential parent and legal custodian is the presumptively
correct amount for that parent to be ordered to pay to the residential parent (ORC
§3119.07 and ORC §3119.03).

That may work fine in situations where the mother is morally principled and actually spends the support dollars on the children. However, let’s talk reality. We live in a society where morals in general are out the window and are considered a thing of the past.

Today, I received a short email from a Father that said:

“Keep up the effort. I am battling three forms of cancer while my earnings are confiscated, and I have nothing left for my five minor children.”

I suspect that he is receiving disability pay and despite only collecting a fraction of what his normal pay was and having his child support order lowered, Ohio refuses to lower his child support obligation to reflect his reduced disability income, and is merely seizing his disability pay pursuant to its statutes:

“Income is defined as “any form of monetary payment, including personal earnings; workers’ compensation payments; unemployment compensation benefits….; pensions, annuities; allowances; private or governmental retirement benefits; disability or sick pay; insurance proceeds; lottery prize awards; federal, state, or local government benefits…; any form of trust fund or endowment; lump sum payments; and any other payment in money.” [O.R.C. 3121.01]

Understand what the aforementioned statute says. If a Father wins $2 million in the lottery, the mother of his children (ex-wife, ex-girlfriend etc) is entitled to his winnings. Or, for instance if his parents left him $1 million in life insurance when they passed, his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend is entitled to that money as well.

There’s something seriously wrong with a society whose norms and mores are defined to condone the theft of another’s money under the guise of, “child support” that’s collected only, “in the best interests of the children.” I’m not one for mincing words, so let’s just call this what it is in the case of the cancer-fighting Father who sent me the email above. “State sanctioned theft of a dying Father’s income.”

That’s beyond despicable, words do not exists to describe how twisted and diabolical these grievances committed by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Service’s Child Support Enforcement Agencies are.

Tony Fantetti
Ohio Council for Fathers Rights
P.O. Box 11407
Cincinnati OH 45211

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