576E-16 Income withholding. (a) Whenever an administrative order is entered establishing, modifying, or enforcing support, or establishing an arrearage that has accrued under a previous judicial or administrative order of support, there shall concurrently be issued an order that shall operate as an assignment to the agency for the benefit of the child or in the case of spousal support, for the benefit of a spouse or former spouse, of such amounts at such times as may be specified in the order, from the responsible parent's income due or to become due in the future from the responsible parent's employer, or successor employers, except when alternative arrangements are ordered pursuant to section 576D-10. The income withholding order shall be in the standard format prescribed by Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, as amended by the child support enforcement agency. A copy of the income withholding order shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court in the circuit where the order was issued along with the copy of the support order as provided in section 576E-12.

(b) The income withholding order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or the income withholding order or the notice to withhold child support issued pursuant to section 576D-14 shall be effective immediately after service upon an employer of a copy of the order or the notice to withhold child support, which service may be effected by regular mail, by personal delivery, or by transmission through electronic means. Thereafter, the employer shall for each pay period, withhold from the income due to the responsible parent from the employer, and not required to be withheld by any other provision of federal or state law, and transmit to the child support enforcement agency of this State, as much as may remain payable to the responsible parent for such pay period up to the amount specified in the order or the notice to withhold child support as being payable during the same period. The employer shall immediately inform the agency of any change that would affect the income withholding order or the notice to withhold child support or the disbursement thereof.

(c) Compliance by an employer with the income withholding order issued pursuant to subsection (a) or with the income withholding order or the notice to withhold child support issued pursuant to section 576D-14 shall operate as a discharge of the employer's liability to the responsible parent for that portion of the responsible parent's earnings withheld and transmitted to the agency, regardless of whether the employer has withheld the correct amount. For each payment made pursuant to an income withholding order or a notice to withhold child support, the employer may deduct and retain as an administrative fee an additional amount of $2 from the income owed to the responsible parent. The total amount withheld from the obligor's income, including the administrative fee, may not be in excess of the maximum amounts permitted under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)). Any income withholding order or notice to withhold child support shall have priority as against any garnishment, attachment, execution, or other income withholding order, or any other order, and shall not be subject to the exemptions or restrictions contained in part III of chapter 651 and in chapters 652 and 653. An employer who fails to comply with an income withholding order under this section or with an income withholding order or notice to withhold child support issued pursuant to section 576D-14 shall be liable to the obligee or the agency for the full amount of all sums ordered to be withheld and transmitted. In addition, an employer violating this subsection may be subject to a fine not to exceed $250 as determined by the court. An employer receiving an income withholding order or a notice to withhold child support shall transmit amounts withheld to the agency within five working days after the responsible parent is paid. The employer shall begin withholding no later than the first pay period commencing within seven business days following the date a copy of the order or the notice to withhold child support is mailed to the employer.

As used in this subsection, the term "business day" means a day on which the employer's office is open for regular business. The employer shall withhold funds as directed in the order or the notice to withhold child support, except that when an employer receives an income withholding order issued by another state, the employer shall apply the income withholding law of the state of the obligor's principal place of employment in determining:

(1) The employer's fee for processing an income withholding order;

(2) The maximum amount permitted to be withheld from the obligor's income under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 1673(b));

(3) The time periods within which the employer must implement the income withholding order and forward the child support payment;

(4) The priorities for withholding and allocating income withheld for multiple child support obligees; and

(5) Any withholding terms or conditions not specified in the order.

An employer who complies with an income withholding order or a notice to withhold child support that is regular on its face shall not be subject to civil liability to any person or agency for conduct in compliance with the order.

An employer who is required to withhold amounts from the income of more than one employee may remit to the agency a sum total of all such amounts in one check with a listing of the amounts applicable to each employee.

Within two working days after receipt of the amounts withheld by the employer, the agency shall disburse the amounts to the obligee for the benefit of the child, except that the agency may delay the distribution of collections toward arrearages until resolution of any timely requested hearing with respect to such arrearages.

(d) An income withholding order or a notice to withhold child support shall remain in effect after the obligor's requirement to pay future child support has ended if the obligor owes past due support and any amount received pursuant to the order or notice shall be applied to satisfy all past due support owed. An income withholding order or a notice to withhold child support shall be terminated when appropriate by court or administrative order, except that an employer withholding income for payment to the child support enforcement agency shall terminate withholding upon receipt of a notice from the child support enforcement agency to terminate income withholding. Payment by the responsible parent of any delinquency shall not in and of itself warrant termination of the income withholding order or the notice to withhold child support. The agency shall promptly refund any amount withheld in error to the responsible parent.

(e) It shall be unlawful for any employer to refuse to hire a prospective employee, to discharge an employee, or to take any other disciplinary action against an employee, based in whole or in part upon an order or notice to withhold child support authorized by this section. Any employer who fails to comply with this subsection may be subject to a fine not to exceed $250 as determined by the court.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for the purposes of this section, the term "income" shall include, without limitation, salaries, wages, earnings, workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, disability benefits, commissions, independent contractor income, and any other entitlement to money including moneys payable as a pension or as an annuity or retirement or disability or death or other benefit, or as a return of contributions and interest thereon from the United States government, or from the State or political subdivision thereof, or from any retirement, disability, or annuity system established by any of them pursuant to statute.

(g) Any responsible parent may request withholding of the parent's income prior to entry of an administrative order. The employer shall comply with that request as if so ordered under this section.

(h) If there is more than one obligee, the amounts withheld from the income of a responsible parent shall be allocated among the obligees. The allocation may be based on each obligee's proportionate share of the amount of the withholding orders or the notices to withhold child support that were served on the employer of the obligor. If concurrent assignment orders or notices to withhold child support would cause the amounts withheld from the responsible parent's income to exceed applicable wage withholding limitations, the amount withheld shall be allocated so that in no case shall the allocation result in a withholding for one of the support obligations not being implemented. Thereafter, arrearages due under the income withholding orders or the notices to withhold child support shall be satisfied in the order of service, up to the applicable limitation.

(i) If a responsible parent changes employment when an income withholding order or a notice to withhold child support is in effect, the agency shall notify the responsible parent's new employer of the responsible parent's obligation in accordance with subsections (b) to (f). The new employer shall be bound by the income withholding order or the notice to withhold child support until further court or administrative order or until further notified by the agency pursuant to section 576D-14. [L 1988, c 154, pt of 2; am L 1989, c 61, 6; am L 1990, c 152, 3 and c 176, 22; am L 1993, c 251, 6; am L 1995, c 125, 4, 5; am L 1996, c 25, 3; am L 1997, c 293, 38; am L 1999, c 300, 5; am L 2000, c 194, 6; am L 2002, c 72, 11 and c 84, 8; am L 2006, c 34, 3; am L 2009, c 115, 6; am L 2019, c 67, 3]

 

Cross References

 

Prison inmates child support payments, see 353-22.8.

 

 

Previous Vol12_Ch0501-0588 Next