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Public perception of child support law

Ohio parents who either owe or receive child support may relate to the frustrations many people feel over how those payments affect their financial circumstances. Public perception on a national level has been showed to be negative as individuals' perspectives of current support standards were recently evaluated in studies. The studies were focused on allowing respondents to explain how they would assign support amounts in specific circumstances, and their decisions typically differed quite a bit from the amounts that would be ordered in accordance with current formulas.

In most hypothetical scenarios presented to those being interviewed, the income of the custodial parent played a key part in the determination of an appropriate support amount due from a noncustodial parent. Participants expressed that both incomes should be taken into account in child support matters. Another issue affecting the perspectives of those participating in the study was that of remarriage of the custodial parent. Although a stepparent's income typically has no bearing on child support determinations, study participants felt that a custodial parent's remarriage should reduce the support payments of the noncustodial parent.

Public opinion is not likely to change the formulas used by the court system to determine support payments. However, many states, including Ohio, do consider the incomes of both parents in determining how much monthly support should be paid by a noncustodial parent. Meanwhile, the perspectives of the public may be helpful to those who develop policies related to support payments and enforcement.

A parent who owes child support may have trouble keeping up with obligations if they experience a layoff or lost job. In this type of situation, it may be necessary to seek legal assistance in bringing the matter back to court in an effort to obtain a modification of the support order.

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