Automatic Income Withholdings for Child Support

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

Can My Income Be Withheld for Child Support?

Under the federal Family Support Act, states are allowed to withhold income for child support and alimony. Even if your court order is from a different state than from where you live, the withholdings may be valid. As with any other law, there are exceptions.

What Are the Exceptions?

If there is an agreement between the parties to pay each other directly, then there will not be an automatic income withholding. Also, if there is a history of payment between the parties, then the automatic income withholding law will not be enforced.

How Does Automatic Income Withholds Work?

There are generally two approaches depending on how the non-custodial parent receives his income.

If the non-custodial parent has a regular wage, then the custodial parent must give the non-custodial parent's employer a copy of the court order. Afterwards, the employer will automatically deduct the child support amount from the non-custodial parent's paycheck and will send it to the custodial parent.

If the non-custodial parent does not have wage but does have some other source of income, then the court will send the income administrator a copy of the court order with instructions as to where to send the payments. Examples of other sources of income include: retirement accounts, unemployment benefits, pensions, and public benefits.

However, not all income can be subjected to automatic income withholds. Social Security payments, ERISA-governed pension, and REA-governed pensions have clauses in them to prevent such withholds. The reason for that is because those monies are solely intended for the beneficiary, and is only enough to sustain the beneficiary.

Consulting an Attorney

If you believe your income is wrongfully being withheld, please consult a family law attorney. The attorney will help you straighten out your situation, whether he will help you alleviate all of your child support obligations or reduce the amount owed.

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Last Modified: 02-23-2015 10:59 AM PST

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