What Child Support Cannot Do

The functions of the Gallia County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) include establishing parentage, establishing and modifying child support orders, enforcing support orders and collecting and disbursing support payments.   The CSEA is governed by the Ohio Administrative Code and the Ohio Revised Code, which outline the legal limitations of CSEA, and the procedures for conducting administrative functions.  Although the CSEA handles most issues associated with a support case, because of those legal limitations, it cannot handle all issues which may arise.

The CSEA:       

    Cannot deal directly with issues of visitation and /or custody.  This must be pursued through private action in the Court.

    Cannot offer and/or dispense legal advice.  This should be handled by a private attorney or by contacting Juvenile or Domestic Court directly

    Does not provide representation for the Obligor or Obligee at court hearings.  Although the CSEA will have an attorney present at court hearings, the attorney represents the CSEA and the state, not the individual Obligor or Obligee or children.

    Does not provide copies of Journal Entries for Domestic or Juvenile Court Orders.  These can be obtained through the Clerk of Courts.

    Does not assign different Investigators for the Obligor and Obligee on the same case.  There is one Investigator assigned to each case.  That Investigator is a neutral party responsible for the establishment or enforcement of the /support order(s). The investigator does not take sides, nor represent either party.  Routine work which is generated through your phone calls is completed by the investigator who handled your call.

   Cannot give credit for direct payments not made through the CSEA.  By law, direct payments are considered a gift.  The parties can petition the Court to credit direct payments.

    Cannot dictate or verify how support money is utilized. (i.e. rent, utilities, food, clothing, etc.)

    Cannot use an Obligor’s or Obligee’s current spouse’s income when determining the support obligation because that person is not legally obligated to support your child.

    Cannot discuss a case with a third party without receiving prior written consent of the Obligor or Obligee.

    Does not deviate from the Ohio Child Support Guidelines.  Only the Court can allow deviations and special considerations in your child support arrangements.

    Does not change the name of a child from that on the birth certificate except when it is agreed to by both parties when the order is established.  It must later be done by private action through Probate Court.

    Cannot address any spousal support issue not related to collection and disbursement of payments.

    Does not employ private investigators, but relies on both parents to report changes as required by law

    Does not collect moneys owed for credit card debt, or property settlements through a divorce or dissolution.

    Does not do genetic testing at CSEA IV-D expense when a private divorce, dissolution, or support action has already been filed with the court (except if the court makes the CSEA a party to the case because the AP is indigent, CP is already a recipient of OWF cash assistance, or is a recipient of IVD services; Genetic testing to disestablish paternity cannot be done by the CSEA.

    Cannot change a court order. Only the Court can make changes on an order (although CSEA may recommend an adjustment through the MOD process).  We cannot enter changes in the SETS computer system until we have received the signed journal entry from the court.

    Cannot refer a case for legal enforcement actions unless it meets the criteria set by law.

    Cannot enforce an order when the obligor is “paid under the table”, although in some instances, we can have the obligor establish a bank account for income withholding purposes.

    Cannot release an intercepted joint federal tax refund for a minimum of 6 months. By statute the money is held by the state to avoid possible improper payment if an injured spouse claim is filed to obtain the spouse’s share of the tax refund.