Family: Child Support
The 2023 Child Support Guidelines Review Report to the General Assembly was issued in March 2023. Its Executive Summary notes reflects an initial record of the current state of the Ohio child support guidelines, which were fundamentally revised effective March 28, 2019. Many of the revisions were intended to generate more accurate and affordable orders resulting in more consistent payments for low–income families. Guidelines changes also included measures to address parent timesharing under Ohio’s formula. This report will begin to set the stage for future evaluation of post-March 28, 2019 orders.
The Report states three main conclusions:
- The statutory formula for updating the Ohio child support schedule appears to work. It is designed to update the schedule administratively every four years. It was tested against a schedule using more current economic data. The differences were generally small, with the exception at very high incomes.
- The analysis of labor market data reiterates the importance of considering the individual circumstances of the parent and the local employment opportunities when income imputation is authorized.
- There are many options for timesharing formulas, and many factors to consider in deciding what is most appropriate for Ohio families and children.
The current Child Support Calculator is available online. In June 2023, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) issued the Child Support Guideline Manual for Ohio Courts and Agencies. This was discussed at the recent meeting of the OSBA Family Law Committee with representatives of ODJFS. If there are questions about this, please use this link https://jfs.ohio.gov/child-support/contact-us.
Supreme Court of Ohio Bench Cards Child Support are also helpful.
Criminal: Expungement update
Additional revisions to Chapter 2953 go into effect October 3, 2023 regarding sealing or expungement of records.
Specifically, eligibility has been revised related to convictions of felonies of the third degree when the offender has other felony and misdemeanor convictions. Additional revisions are explained in the Final Analysis by the Legislative Service Commission of HB 33, signed by the Governor on July 4, 2023:
The act allows a defendant who is found not guilty of an offense, who is named in a dismissed complaint, indictment, or information, or against whom a no bill is entered by a grand jury, to apply to the court for an order to expunge the person’s official records in the case. The process for expungement, as added by the act, mirrors the process for sealing records in cases of dismissal, not guilty, or no bill.
Additionally, expungement of records related to a dismissed or no bill case is not available if the case involves any of the following offenses:
1. A violation of Ohio’s Commercial Driver’s License Law, Driver’s License Law, Driver’s License Suspension Law, Traffic Law, or Motor Vehicle Criminal Law, or a violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any of those laws.
2. A felony offense of violence that is not a sexually oriented offense.
3. A sexually oriented offense when the offender is subject to the requirements of R.C. Chapter 2950 (SORN Law).
4. An offense involving a victim younger than 13, except for the offenses of nonsupport of dependents or contributing to nonsupport of dependents.
5. A first- or second-degree felony.
6. A “domestic violence” offense, a “violating a protection order” offense, or a similar municipal ordinance offense.
7. A third-degree felony if the person has more than one prior conviction of any felony or if the person has exactly one prior conviction of a third-degree felony and the person has more prior convictions in total than a third-degree felony conviction and two misdemeanor convictions.
S.B. 288 of the 134th General Assembly similarly enacted new provisions under which a person may apply for expungement of a conviction record in the same manner that a person may apply for sealing of a conviction record and specified that the procedures applicable to determining a sealing application also generally apply to such an expungement application. The act clarifies that expungement of criminal records under these provisions requires the destruction, deletion, or erasure of those records so that those records are permanently irretrievable, except to the extent they are kept by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for the limited purpose of determining an individual’s qualification or disqualification for law enforcement employment.
violence but prohibits expungement of the record. Finally, the act allows a person who has been arrested for any misdemeanor offense and who has effected a bail forfeiture for the offense to apply for the expungement of a record of a misdemeanor offense after one year, or after six months for a minor misdemeanor, rather than three years as under prior law.
Regarding sealed records specifically, the act permits a legal representative of a person who is the subject of sealed records to apply to allow the subject to inspect them, exempts officers or employees of the state or a political subdivision from liability for disclosing sealed or expunged records to the subject or the subject’s legal representative, and corrects erroneous cross references.
Criminal law practitioners should consult with colleagues and the bench on the application of the laws.
Probate: Creditor presenting claims to the estate update
Effective April 3, 2023, the Ohio Revised Code expanded the process by which creditors may present claims to the estate of a decedent.
While the rules remain unchanged as to when a claim is presented (within 6 months from the date of death of the decedent and after the appointment of an executor or administrator), Rev. Code 2117.06 has expanded how creditors’ claims can be made.
(A)(1) requires that claims be presented prior to the filing of a final account or a certificate of termination in one of three ways:
(a) To the executor or administrator, or to an attorney who is identified as counsel for the executor or administrator in the probate court records for the estate of the decedent, in a writing;
(b) To the probate court in a writing that includes the probate court case number of the decedent’s estate;
(c) In a writing that is actually received by the executor or administrator, or by an attorney who is identified as counsel for the executor or administrator in the probate court records for the estate of the decedent, within the appropriate time specified in division (B) of this section and without regard to whom the writing is addressed. For purposes of this division, if an executor or administrator is not a natural person, the writing shall be considered as being actually received by the executor or administrator only if the person charged with the primary responsibility of administering the estate of the decedent actually receives the writing within the appropriate time specified in division (B) of this section.
Note, too, however: if the final account or certificate of termination has been filed within the first six months after the death of the decedent, then the creditor may, pursuant to (A)(2), present its claim to the distributees of the decedent’s estate.
These changes expand how a valid claim may be made against the estate and permit a claim to be noticed in writing only to the attorney for the executor or administrator. It further permits a valid claim to be noticed only upon a writing to the court and removes the requirement that it be noticed both to the executor or administrator AND the court. Further, it ends the requirement that the writing be addressed to the decedent via ordinary mail and permits more broadly “in writing” which may include email.
Attorneys should review the statute and confer with local rules in all of the counties in which they practice to ensure clarity on requirements for the presentment of creditors’ claims against estates.
Several notary changes took effect April 6, 2023 with the enactment of H.B. 567 of the 134th General Assembly of interest to attorneys:
Certificate of motor vehicle title changes remove the notary requirements for several types of motor vehicle title documents when a licensed dealer is party to the transfer and remove the requirement that a power of attorney (POA) be notarized when a person grants a POA to a licensed motor vehicle dealer or dealer’s agent for the transfer of the motor vehicle title. Note there are additional changes regarding transfer of vehicles involving a minor.
Notarial certificates and forms of acknowledgments are significantly changed. “Acknowledgment” is redefined to mean an individual’s declaration before a notary that the individual has signed a record for the purpose stated in the record, and if the record is signed in a representative capacity, that the individual signed the record with proper authority and signed it as the act of the person identified in the record.
The notarial certificate for an acknowledgment or jurat is not required to indicate the type of notarization being performed. The authorized form of a jurat is changed from the signature of the person making the jurat to the “name of signer.” A new form of acknowledgment specifically for limited liability companies is also included.