Paycheck Withholding Order
A paycheck withholding order is a court order for an employer to withhold a part of an employee’s income for child support and spousal support. The paycheck withholding order is served on the employer of the paying parent. The paycheck withholding order will list a specific amount of current support to be withheld from the paying parent’s wages each month. If there is also support owing from an earlier time period, an additional amount will usually be ordered withheld each month. Notice is mandatory and has the same status as a direct court order on the employer – including severe sanctions if the paycheck withholding order is ignored.
Employer’s Liability for a Paycheck Withholding Order
California law expressly prohibits employers from firing, punishing, or refusing to hire an employee because of a child support withholding order. Employers who do not comply with withholding orders will be personally liable for the support and may be subject to contempt of court charges.
Paycheck Withholding Process
- Employer receives Notice to Withhold (and blank Request for Hearing and statement of employees rights).
- Withholding order is effective “as soon as possible” but no later than 10 days after it is received.
- Employer delivers papers to the employee — a copy of the paycheck withholding order, the attached statement of rights, and blank Request for Hearing within 7 days of receiving the order.
- Income is withheld from each payment to the employee and sent to the address directed on the order within 10 days of being withheld. (Note: Employer must report the pay date/ date of withholding to ensure proper credit for the employee.)
- Withholding continues until the employee no longer works for the employer or until the court rescinds the order. (Note: Employers should hold the order if there is any chance the employee will return – it is still effective and binding on the employer.)
- If employment terminates, the employer must inform the child support agency immediately of the following: employee name, child support agency case number, date of separation, last known home address, and the new employer’s name and address.
Earning for a Paycheck Withholding Order
Under California Family Cod Section 5206, earnings are broadly defined whether in the context of calculating support, withholding, or reporting by employers. Earnings include: Wages, Salary, Bonuses, Vacation pay, Retirement pay, Commissions, Independent Contractor pay, Dividends, Interest, Rents, Residuals, Patent rights, Mineral rights, Natural resource rights, Written contract payments, Oral contract payments, Worker’s compensation temporary disability benefits, Disability insurance benefits, and any other payments or credits regardless of source.
Click on the following link to download a California Paycheck Withholding Order for Support Payment form which is used in California courts.
File Download (PDF File): fl195 – withholding for support
CALL NOW TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A FREE CONSULTATION