Dodging child support punishes children

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

You've seen her before. Her face is familiar, but her name is not. You've seen her in the grocery store line, struggling to keep her children in check and hanging her head down as she realizes she's miscalculated the math feverishly worked in her head.

Her cart contains more goods than the money in her purse will buy.

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Embarrassed, she grabs a few high-priced items and hands them back to the checker. She repeats this until the numbers sudden match. She quickly grabs the receipt, pushes the cart and heads for the door.

It's a common occurrence and one complicated by another common occurrence - fathers who are delinquent on their child support payments.

Last month, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft designated the month as Child Support Awareness Month.

State statistics show that nearly 1 million child support cases exist in the state.

Fortunately, for the children of Ohio, state and county child support enforcement agencies are among the best in the country at collecting money and distributing back to the children who need it most.

Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services workers collected more than $2 billion last year - the most ever collected in the state.

A child takes two parents to create and, while we understand that sometimes parents cannot get along and thus need to live separate lives, we cannot, however, understand a parent who will not pay child support or otherwise provide assistance.

Children are a lifetime commitment. Period. Not paying child support is against the law, and rightfully so.

If you know someone who is either not paying their child support payments or underreporting what they make, do the right thing and report them.

Innocent children are being hurt and you may be the only difference between getting all of what they need to grow up healthy and happy.