Wage withholding, or wage garnishment, is the deduction of money from a non-custodial parent’s (NCP’s) wages or income to pay child support.
The employer is required by law to deduct a specific amount each month and send it to the DC Child Support Clearinghouse. The money is then paid to the custodial parent (CP) and/or to the District for reimbursement of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
District of Columbia law requires that almost all child support orders be enforced by wage withholding.
Wage withholding is designed to provide timely payments of support for children.
Child Support Wage Withholding Requirements
The Child Support Services Division (CSSD) is required to issue an Order/Notice to Withhold in every case. It must be served on the employer along with any modifications within two (2) days of the date the support order was entered; or when the NCP changes employment and the new employer’s address is known; or, if unknown, when located.
Role of the Employer
An Order/Notice to Withhold is binding upon all existing and future employers of the NCP. An Order/ Notice to Withhold is issued by the District of Columbia Superior Court or by CSSD. If issued by CSSD it is as binding on an employer as an order by the Court.
Employers are required to cooperate with CSSD to provide relevant information, such as the employee’s full name, last known address, date of birth, social security number, dates of employment, past and present earnings, and availability of health insurance coverage.
Employers must inform CSSD when employment is terminated on or before the next payment due date and provide the employee’s last known residence address and telephone number. No employer shall incur liability for providing information to CSSD.
CSSD will send an Order/Notice to Withhold to the NCP’s employer requesting that funds for child support be deducted from the employee’s wages and sent to the DC Child Support Clearinghouse.
The employer will withhold the amount specified in the Order/ Notice to Withhold unless it exceeds the Maximum Support Deduction, a cap tied to the wages of the NCP.
The employer will include in the payment the employee’s name and other important case information so that the employee gets proper credit for paying child support.
All or a portion of the child support received on behalf of custodial parents receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) may be retained by the DC Government. Child support for customers not receiving TANF will be sent directly the custodial parent.
If an employer willfully fails to withhold and forward support as required by a valid Order/ Notice to Withhold, the employer is liable for the amount of support not withheld and forwarded.
If an employer delays in activating the Wage Withholding, the employee is still responsible for making the court-ordered support payments directly to:
DC Child Support Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 37715
Washington, DC 20013-7715