All court orders for child support include a wage and earnings assignment requiring the parent's employer to deduct child support payments from his/her salary or wages. This process is called wage garnishment.
The Family Support Act of 1988 requires that child support payments be withheld from the paycheck of a parent required to pay child support from the time that the child support is ordered. Employers who are obligated to withhold an employee's child support payments will be provided with a wage assignment order by the Department of Child Support Services. The wage assignment may also include an amount to be withheld for arrears (past-due support). Once the employer deducts the amount from the parent's paycheck, the funds must be sent to the California State Disbursement Unit within 7 business days of the withholding. The employer must also provide the date of the withholding
You must honor the wage assignment as long as the parent remains employed with your company. If the parent leaves or is terminated, you must notify the Department of Child Support Services no later than the date of the next payment. In addition, you must also provide the employee's last known address and, if known, the name and address of his/her new employer. If the employee returns to work for you, you must begin withholding child supports payments again.
You must honor every child support wage assignment you receive, but the amount withheld may not exceed 50% of the employee's disposable earnings, unless the court order specifies a higher amount. To determine the amount withheld for each child support order, you will need to add the total amount of the child support wage assignments, calculate each order's percentage of the total obligation, and deduct the percentage from the 50% net disposable earnings. Please note that current support must be paid first. The employee will still be liable for the total child support amount, even if you, the employer, are not able to deduct the total amount from the check.
Research shows that children who live in single parent households where child support is received on a regular basis do better in school, have higher self-esteem, and are less likely to become part of the criminal justice system. Employer collaboration with the Department of Child Support Services is critical in helping secure support for families with minor children. Through this collaboration, employers withhold a portion of an employee's income to pay court ordered child support and enroll children in health insurance plans to provide them with much needed medical care. In doing so, employers help create a stable environment for children. And because some child support collections are used to reimburse welfare monies paid out by the government, employers who cooperate with the Department of Child Support Services also save taxpayers' dollars.
California Child Support - A Guide For Business includes procedures on new hire reporting, remitting payments electronically, income withholding procedures and frequently asked questions in a user-friendly format that contains links to critical forms and websites. The guide can be found in the DCSS Employer Resource section on the Department's website at: www.childsup.ca.gov/Employers and is available to download in PDF.
Thank you in advance for your support! The following information will address frequently asked questions about income withholding and medical support. If you have further questions or receive documents that are confusing to you, please do not hesitate contact our Employer Liaison at 866-901-3212 for assistance