Fathers & Families’ Ohio Executive Committee Chair Don Hubin was interviewed by News Talk AM 610 WTVN in Columbus, FM 100.1 WNIR Radio in Akron and by Roger McCoy of FM 98.3 WYBL in Ashtabula about Ohio Senate Bill 292 this week. This bill would make sweeping changes to Ohio child support laws, including increasing the child support tables significantly.
Hubin told WTVN:
“This is a horrible time to be raising child support obligations–during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression…while the bill recognizes some child-related expenses by non-resident fathers, it treats them as second-class parents. SB 292 continues the unfortunate image of dad as the ‘optional parent’.”
Hubin did note several desirable changes that SB 292 would make. For example, it would establish a self-support reserve based on the obligor’s income to prevent child support obligations pushing fathers well below the poverty level. SB 292 would also, for the first time in Ohio law, recognize the fact that non-resident parents have direct expenses on their children that should affect the amount of money they’re ordered to pay the other parent.
Hubin also criticized SB 292 because it creates incentives for parents to fight over insignificant amounts of time with the children. The bill creates an enormous “cliff effect” at 40% of parenting time. Nonresidential parents who have their kids 39.9% of the time are treated the same as nonresident parents who have their children only one hour a year. But, at 40%, there is a significant parenting adjustment for most parents. This would result in parents and their attorneys fighting long and expensive legal battles over insignificant amounts of time with the children.