Column: Children pay price of non-support


Sep, 27 2014

Column: Children pay price of non-support

A young brother and sister, who I’ll call Noah and Olivia, don’t have school supplies or clothes that fit as they are getting ready for school this year.

In fact, getting a healthy meal is a struggle.

The reason why is that one of their parents is avoiding payment of court ordered child support.

The parent they live with won custody, so this parent enrolled them in daycare in order to work. Expenses for this parent include rent, daycare, car loan, student loan repayment, utilities and the many expenses included with raising children properly.

The parent who did not receive custody feels wronged because the other parent was awarded custody, and the custodial parent was unfaithful during the marriage.

In essence, the parent who was ordered to pay child support is trying to “punish” the custodial parent.

Unfortunately, the ones who are being punished unfairly are Noah and Olivia.

Child support is not a punishment. Child support is an obligation to provide the minimum necessary means to raise children successfully in our society.

To be fair, there are parents who come through Domestic Relations Court who feel that their child support is a privilege because these parents are able to participate in their children’s lives despite the fact that their marriage or relationship ended.

August is Child Support Enforcement Month. I wish that the word “enforcement” was not necessary, but the fact is that some parents, too many parents, choose not to pay their court-ordered child support. As a result, their children suffer.

No one gets married hoping to get divorced, especially when children are involved. Unfortunately this happens, and children are involved. It is essential that parents who have children continue to provide for them even when their marriage or relationship ends.

If you owe back child support, or you are aware of child support issues that should be brought to the attention of authorities, you can call Hamilton County Child Support Services at 513-946-7387.

Judge Amy Searcy is a judge in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations division.