Dallas Child Custody

Child Support - Wage Withholding


In almost all circumstances, one parent will pay child support. When a court orders child support payments, the court must order that income be withheld from the obligor's disposable earnings as child support. This is often called "wage garnishment." It is not, however, it is child support withholding. Note -- you cannot pay your child support directly to the obligee, you cannot even agree on this issue, it cannot be part of an order.  If it is - the obligor (the person paying child support) could end up with a very very large arrearage.

A Wage Withholding Order, for good cause shown or by agreement of the parties (court must approve the agreement) may be suspended. That is that the order withholding income will not be issued or delivered to an employer until the obligor has been in arrears for an amount due for more than 30 days; or  the amount of the arrearages is an amount equal to or greater than the amount due for a one-month period; or any other violation of the child support order has occurred.

If the court suspends income withholding, an order for support must contain a provision to ensure that withholding may be effected if a violation of the support order occurs. A child support order must be construed to contain a withholding provision even if the provision has been omitted. The order must provide that income withheld for child support be paid to a local registry or the Title IV-D agency (Attorney General's Office). The mere fact that the obligor is a temporary employee is not considered good cause to refuse to order income withholding.

A child support withholding order must direct the obligor's employer to withhold from the obligor's disposable earnings the amount specified, up to a maximum of 50 percent of the obligor's disposable earnings. In addition to the amount withheld as child support, the employer may deduct an administrative fee of not more than $5 per month from the obligor's disposable earnings.

The employer must remit the withheld amount to the person or office named in the order on each pay date. The employer must include the following information with each payment transmitted

  • The date on which the withholding occurred
  • The number assigned by the Title IV-D agency, if available.
  • The county identification number, if available, or the cause number of teh suit under which withholding is required.

The payors name unless the payment is transmitted by electronic funds transfer.
Employer's must comply with a wage withholding order and may not discipline an employee because one was issued. An employer may not use an order for withholding for child support as grounds for terminating employment or any other disciplinary action against an employee. This is true whether the employee is a permanent or temporary employee. In addition, an employer may not refuse to hire an employee because of an order to withhold income for child support. An employer who intentionally discharges an employee based in whole or in part on such an order continues to be liable to the employee for current wages and other benefits and is liable for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs incurred in enforcing the employee's rights. Only the employee may bring an action for these remedies. In addition, an employer who knowingly violates these rules may be subject to a fine not to exceed $200 for each occurrence in which the employer fails to withhold. A fine recovered under this provision is to be paid to the obligee and credited against any amounts owed by the obligor. 

The Jackson Law Group
Dallas Divorce Child Custoddy Lawyers
Practicing in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Tarrant, Kaufman Counties

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