A wage assignment, also called an income withholding order, is when a court
directs the employer of a non-custodial parent to deduct the amount of
child support from that parent's paycheck. The purpose of the wage
assignment is to ensure that the child and custodial parent receives child
support money on a timely and continuing basis.
As child support is typically ordered as a monthly amount, a calculation
is provided to the employer as to the proper amount to withhold from each
paycheck based on whether the employee is paid on a weekly, bi-weekly,
semi-monthly or other basis in order to correspond to the monthly amount
ordered. For example, if child support was ordered for $200 a month and
the employee was paid weekly, then the withholding order would direct
the employer to deduct $48.43 from each paycheck for child support. Once
the employer deducts the calculated amount from the parent's paycheck,
they send that amount to the Support Payment Clearinghouse. The payment
is then processed and recorded by the Clearinghouse and is sent on to
the custodial parent.
If the non-custodial parent begins a new job, they are responsible for
giving the wage assignment to their new employer and are also responsible
for notifying the Clerk of the Superior Court and Support Payment Clearinghouse
of their new employer's contact information within 10 days.
An employer who fails, without a good cause, to comply with the terms of
a wage assignment is liable for amount not paid. The employer may be entitled
to charge a small administrative fee for processing the payments, but
it is against the law for an employer to fire an employee because of a
court-ordered wage assignment for child support.
A wage assignment is not necessary when the non-custodial parent is self-employed,
not employed, or does not have a regular source of income. In those circumstances,
they are responsible for making payments directly to the Support Payment
Contact Owens and Perkins if you have questions regarding your child
support payments or wage assignment at 480.630.2464. We offer a complimentary
½ hour consultation for all family law matters.