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Withholding Priorities

Federal and state laws require child support withholding to take priority over most income attachments. For example, a non-tax federal debt, state and local tax levies, creditor garnishments, and voluntary assignment or income to pay a loan DO NOT take priority over child support withholding.

Special Circumstances


In the case of bankruptcy, the court-appointed trustee will most likely make the child support payment. However, you should continue to withhold child support until you receive official notification from the Department of Child Support Services or the Bankruptcy Court

IRS tax Levy

The order of service controls the priority of a federal tax levy. When the IRS levy has been served first, it takes priority over the child support wage assignment. When the child support wage assignment has been served first, it takes priority over the IRS levy.

Franchise Tax Board Levy:

If you receive a child support wage assignment first, you should continue to send the court ordered amount to the CA State Disbursement Unit and instruct your employee to contact the child support officer who has been assigned to their case to address this matter.

If you receive the Franchise Tax Board 50% levy first, you must comply with that order until you receive a release from them. You should immediately have your employee contact their child support officer to resolve or clarify this issue.