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Children suffer from not seeing non-custodial parent

As spouses go through a divorce, children often get caught in the crossfire, especially if child custody battles become emotional, drawn-out fights. When child custody is finally agreed upon, often kids still suffer. The Durango Herald reports that 35 percent of children whose parents are no longer living together have no contact with their non-custodial parent, citing a U.S. Census Bureau report.

As children grow up, these parents end up missing out on a number of life’s milestones as well as smaller achievements and struggles.

According to Fathers and Families, an organization that fights for children’s rights to love and care from both parents after separation or divorce, many non-custodial parents want to be in their children’s lives. However, sociologist Susan Stewart told the agency that “someone or something is stopping them” in many cases. In most cases, that road block is the custodial parent who interferes with visitation, the organization explained.

Often times, the non-custodial parent is assumed to be the father, and this is usually the case, states Fathers and Families. In fact, the agency explained that approximately 84 percent of non-custodial parents are fathers.

Ohio changes child support laws to give more leeway before licenses are taken

In Ohio, parents who fell behind on child support payments had their drivers licenses suspended after 30 days, until a new law pushed that punishment back to 104 days, allowing non-custodial parents more time to get back on track, WDTN reports.

Charles Jones, a resident of Montgomery County, told the news source that he believes the new law will be more effective than the old version, because taking away someone’s ability to drive can hinder them from going to work, making money and sending child support checks.

Non-custodial parents in the state who have struggled to make ends meet are welcoming the new law.

“I understand that kids need their child support and that men should pay their child support, but it’s hard times out here and I believe there should be some kind of programs for the fathers,” Lawrence Perkins, who pays child support, told the news source.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, the new law was passed as part of the state budget and will take effect on September 28. The state also recently passed sentencing reform that encourages judges to keep non-payers out of jail. Instead, probation or community service is preferred, the news source reports.