Income Withholding to Collect Child Support

Under federal law, at the time of divorce or establishment of paternity you can arrange for child support payments to be withheld from the payors paycheck. This process is called income withholding or wage withholding and is not the same a garnishment. A garnishment negatively affects someone’s credit rating, and is done because they owe a debt. Income withholding does not harm a person credit rating, and they do not need to be behind in child support payments for it to occur. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not cover child support obligations like it does for other debts such as car loans, credit cars or services.

However, if a parent is behind in child support payments in an amount that equals 30 days of child support due, the court or a government child support agency can issue an order for an income withholding. If the parent is behind in payments the order should include payments on arrears. The total amount of income that can be withheld is set by the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) :

50% – If they have other dependents, with no arrearage or less than 12 weeks in arrears
55% – If they have other dependents, and more than 12 weeks in arrears
60% – No other dependents, with no arrearage or less than 12 weeks in arrears
65% – No other dependents, and is more than 12 weeks in arrears