Ohio Commission on Fatherhood Statue: House Bill 349

Ohio is one of the only states in the nation with a statewide fatherhood commission. In 1999, our current Chairman Peter Lawson Jones had the foresight to write a law creating the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood. One of the great strengths of the law is that Commissioners come from all three branches of government so everyone has a voice at the table. Strengthening fatherhood in Ohio requires everyone's involvement.

Much has happened since Chairman Jones' vision became a reality. In 2009, the Commissioners realized that the statue needed to be revised and updated to reflect the way the Commission actually functions today. Two of our current Commissioners, Representative Carlton Weddington and Representative Ron Maag introduced H.B. 349 which contains these needed amendments to our statute.

The law will not have any fiscal impact on the state of Ohio. Although three additional Commissioners will be added, they serve without compensation. H.B. 349 adds a representative from the Ohio Office of Child Support and two members of the public to the Commission. This will help fathers and the Office of Child Support work together better to help fathers meet their financial obligations to their children.

On February 17, 2010, the House of Representatives voted in favor of H.B. 349. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Human Services and Aging for hearings.  The committee unanimously recommended passage of the bill on May 12, 2010. The final step for the bill to become a law was for Senate President Bill Harris to schedule H.B. 349 for consideration and a vote by the full Senate.  However, the Senate adjourned in June and did not vote on any House Bills during the remainder of the legislative session.

The Commission plans to reintroduce the bill when the 129th General Assembly starts in January 2011.

Child Support Reform: Senate Bill 292

 Although, the number of children living in poverty in Ohio has continued to rise, the child support schedule has not increased in 18 years. In response to recommendations of the 2009 Ohio Child Support Guidelines Advisory Council on which she served, Senator Shirley Smith introduced SB 292 to implement these needed updates to the law. Click here to read Senator Smith’s explanation of the bill.

The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood believes that “Responsible Fatherhood” means making a financial and emotional investment in your child. A responsible father spends time with his child and provides for his child’s needs. This means a responsible non-custodial father must pay child support at a rate that correlates with the real costs of raising a child today.

Some of the provisions of the bill that would directly impact fathers include:
Update Child Support Tables: SB 292 would use USDA Consumer Price Index for the Midwest region to calculate child support rates
Parenting Time Adjustment: Current law assumes that the custodial parent bears all the costs of raising a child. SB 292 would reduce a parent’s financial obligation based on the time spent with his child.
Self- Support Reserve: creates a test to determine if the non-custodial parent is able to financially support his basic needs while also paying child support.
Medical Support: if a parent provides health insurance for his child that is taken into account when setting the amount of the support order.

Click here to read a summary of key provisions of SB 292.

The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood is monitoring this bill and will continue to host interested parties’ discussions of the proposed changes to Ohio’s Child Support laws.


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2020 Commission Meeting Dates:  Feb.13, May 14, July 9, Sept. 10, and Nov. 12.  

All of the  commission meetings are from 10AM to noon in the Riffe Tower in downtown Columbus.  If you would like to attend a commission meeting, please contact Terri Simons at 614-752-0182.  Click the highlighted text to learn more about the commission meetings.

Free Curriculum Training:  March 31, April 1 and 2, 2020
OCF is offerring free training and curriculum for the first 25 to register for the Nurturing Fathers training.  See Eventbrite for more details

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Ohio Commission on Fatherhood Staff

Ms. Kimberly Dent, Interim Executive Director
Phone: (614) 752-0583

Ms. Monica Mahoney, Policy Coordinator
Phone: (614) 752-1624

Ms. Whitney Logan, Program Manager
Phone: (614) 752-0182

Ohio Commission on Fatherhood
50 West Town Street, 6th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215