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Wage Withholding for Employers

Child Support Wage Withholding Requirement

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 Non-Custodial Parent (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 non-custodial parent.  An Order/ Notice to Withhold is issued by the DC Superior Court or by the Child Support Services Division. 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.

Employment Verification Form:

The Employment Verification Form is a request for employee information and is signed under penalty of perjury by the employer. It may be used as evidence in court and may avoid a subpoena for records.

When should Employers withhold support?

Within 10 business days after being served with the Order/Notice to Withhold, employers must begin withholding support from the employee’s net disposable income. The actual amount withheld cannot exceed 50-65% of the net disposable income (NDI), even if the amount of the court order is higher.

NDI is gross earnings minus any amounts required to be withheld by law.  All other deductions are subtracted after the support order deduction.

What are the DC Withholding limitations?

50% to 55% of net disposable income (NDI)—If the employee is supporting a spouse or dependent child in the household other than the child at issue in the support order.

60% to 65% of NDI—If the employee is not supporting a spouse or dependent child in his or her household.

When should Employers forward support?

Employers must send payments to DC Child Support Clearinghouse, PO Box 37868, Washington, DC 20013-7868, within seven (7) business days of the employee being paid, and continue to do so until served with an order that modifies or terminates the Notice to Withhold.

The employee’s name, SSN, date of collection, and the case number must be included with each payment.  If there are Notices to Withhold for more than one employee, payments may be combined in one payment with an itemization.

Priority of Withholding:

  • Current Child/Family Support (CC/S)
  • Health Insurance Premium
  • Other Current Cash Support (medical support, Medicaid reimbursement, spousal support, etc.)
  • Arrears

Other Requirements:

All CSSD records are confidential; employers can only be supplied with information needed to comply with the Order/Notice to Withhold. 

An employer who willfully fails to withhold and forward child support payments pursuant to a valid Notice to Withhold is liable to the CSSD and/or to the custodial parent for that amount.

An employer cannot discriminate against or terminate an employee because of an Order/ Notice to Withhold.

Calculating the Maximum Support Deduction (MSD):
Net Disposable Income (NDI) x 50% = Maximum Support Deduction (MSD)

Case 1:  Multiple Orders That Total Less than MSD

Step 1:  Determine MSD
Example assumes NDI of $662
NDI  $662 X 50%
MSD  $331

Step 2:  Add Current Child Support and Arrears.
Order A: (CC/S)$150 +  (Arrears) $37.50 =  $187.50
Order B:  (CC/S)$100 + (Arrears) $25    =  $125.00
                                  Total =  $312.50

Case 2:  Total Current Child/Family Support (CC/S) Exceeds the Maximum Support Deductions

Step 1:  Determine the MSD.
    (Example assumes MSD is $331).

Step 2:  Add the current child support Orders and Arrears.

Order A:  (CC/S) $150 + (Arrears) $37.50  =  $187.50
Order B:  (CC/S) $100 + (Arrears) $25     =  $125.00
Order C:  (CC/S) $175 + (Arrears) $43.75  =  $218.75
           Total $425 +          $106.25  =  $531.25

Step 3:  Divide the current child support of  each order  by total current child support  to  obtain percentages.
Order CC/S  Total    Percentage
A $150 / $425 =  35%
B $100 / $425 =  24%
C $175 / $425 =  41%
Total $425      100%

Step 4:  Multiply the MSD by percentages for the total to allocate to each order.
Order MSD   Percentage   Allocate
A $331    x    35%     = $115.85
B $331    x    24%     = $ 79.44
C $331    x    41%     = $135.71

Case 3:  Total CC/S with Arrears Exceeds Maximum Support Deductions

Step 1:  Determine the MSD.
                (Example assumes MSD is $331.)

Step 2:  Add the Current Child Support Orders and Arrears.

Order            CC/S         Arrears       Total
Order A:  (CC/S) $100 + (Arrears) $25    =  $125
Order B:  (CC/S) $ 75 + (Arrears) $18.75 =  $ 93.75
Order C:  (CC/S) $100 + (Arrears) $25    =  $125
                   Total $275 +                $68.75 =  $343.75

The MSD satisfies the CC/S in all three orders, but not the arrears obligation.

Step 3:  Subtract total CC/S from the MSD for amount to allocate to arrears.

MSD   CC/S     Arrears Allocation
            (all three orders)
$331 - $275 = $56

Step 4:  Divide the amount to be allocated by the total number of orders (example has three orders).

Order Arrears  Paid to Arrears
A $25     $18.67
B $18.75  $18.66
C $25     $18.67
Total     $56.00

Step 5:  Add CC/S and arrears for the total to allocate to each order.

Order  CC/S  Arrears    Allocate
A      $100 + $18.67 =  $118.67
B       $75 + $18.66 =   $93.66
C      $100 + $18.67 =  $118.67
Total  $275   $56.00 =  $331.00