Are Child Support Payments Required While Receiving Unemployment Benefits?

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In Ohio, child support payments are required and enforced by domestic courts while a person that’s paying child support is on unemployment.  Though while receiving unemployment compensation benefits you receive a highly reduced amount of pay compared to when employed, your child support obligation stays exactly the same.  There is no delay of payments allowable, no reduction of payments allowable, and no way to automatically get a child support reduction while collecting unemployment compensation.

The Ohio Revised Code (Ohio Law) states as follows:

3121.07 Unemployment compensation benefits withholding or deductions.

(A) If a child support enforcement agency discovers pursuant to an investigation conducted under section 3123.02 of the Revised Code that an obligor under a child support order that it is administering may be receiving unemployment compensation benefits or if a child support enforcement agency receives notice or otherwise discovers that an obligor under a child support order may be receiving unemployment compensation benefits, the agency promptly shall conduct an investigation to determine whether the obligor is receiving unemployment compensation benefits and to determine the amount of the benefits. The investigation shall be completed within ten days of the agency’s discovery or receipt of the notice.

(B)(1) Upon completion of an investigation conducted under division (A) of this section, if the agency finds that the obligor is receiving unemployment compensation benefits, it shall, in accordance with Chapter 3121. of the Revised Code and section 4141.284 of the Revised Code and federal law governing the department of job and family services, notify the department of job and family services to withhold or deduct an amount from the unemployment compensation benefits to pay child support obligations. Any deduction from a source in accordance with this section and section 4141.284 of the Revised Code is in addition to, and does not preclude, any withholding or deduction for purposes of child support under Chapters 3119., 3121., and 3123. of the Revised Code.

Effective Date 10/31/2001.

The statute requires that the Department of Jobs and Family Services either withhold or deduct the child support payment directly from the unemployment benefit funds before the funds are delivered to the person that has the child support obligation.  Notably, the statute is silent as to any possibility of a reduction of child support due to unemployment benefit qualification.  Accordingly, you must seek a modification of your child support as soon as possible.

Child support and all other family and custody issues can be difficult to understand without the help and advice of an experienced family law attorney. Please contact Slater & Zurz for a free consultation by calling 888.534.4850.