Child Support Collections and Employer Compliance

Child Support Collections and Employer Compliance

By: M. Scott Gordon

How does income withholding help with child support collections in Chicago? And what are an employer’s obligations when it comes to complying with a child support order? The collection of child support in Illinois is extremely important to ensure that children have the means to a healthy upbringing. According to the Illinois Attorney General’s website, in 2013 there were 496,546 child support cases in the Illinois Child Support Program. In total, more than 517,000 children were affected. The Illinois Child Support Program helps custodial parents with numerous issues connected to child support payments, including locating noncustodial parents, collecting child support payments on a previously established child support order, and collecting past-due payments for child support.

Services like the Illinois Child Support Program, and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, help to ensure that noncustodial parents are meeting their child support obligations. In some cases, an agency in the state can issue an “Order/Notice—Income Withholding for Support” to a noncustodial parent’s employer so that child support payments will be withheld from the noncustodial parent’s earnings. What else should you know about how this works? And what is required for employer compliance?

Understanding an Order/Notice—Income Withholding for Support

What is the “Order/Notice—Income Withholding for Support”? The Illinois Child Support Services website provides helpful information about this document, as well as about employer compliance in Chicago and throughout the state.

Under Illinois law (305 ILCS 5/10-16.2), the “Order/Notice” puts the employer on notice regarding the employee’s child support obligation(s) and the requirement of income withholding. The “Order/Notice” must contain the following information:

  • Contact and personal information for the employee, including the employee’s name, address, and Social Security number;
  • Specific information about the child support obligation(s), including the IV-D case number and child support order number;
  • Pay cycles in which the employer can comply with the “Order/Notice”;
  • Specific dollar amount that needs to be withheld for child support;
  • Specific dollar amount that should be withheld and paid periodically for past-due support (if any);
  • Frequency of withholding and total amount of withholding;
  • Additional amounts to be withheld, if applicable, in situations where the child is a beneficiary on a health insurance plan; and
  • Name and address for the employer to send the child support payments.

In addition to the “Order/Notice,” the issuing agency also must send a number of other documents to the employer, depending upon the circumstances of the specific case.

What Are the Employer’s Responsibilities for Child Support Withholding and Collections?

As the Illinois Child Support Services website explains, once the employer receives the “Order/Notice,” the employer is required to do the following:

  • Date stamp the documents received;
  • Determine the authenticity of the order;
  • Issue a copy of the “Order/Notice” to the employee if it was issued in another state;
  • Follow the terms of the order; and
  • Assess any fees (for instance, Illinois law permits an employer to deduct $5.00 each month for withholding income, and this comes from the employee’s remaining income rather than from the income withheld for child support).

An employer cannot dispute the terms set forth in an “Order/Notice”—only the employee has the right to dispute these terms. As such, the employer must comply with the order. If the employer is unable to comply with the order, then it must take a series of steps outlined under Illinois law.

Contact a Chicago Child Support Collections Attorney

Income withholding can be a useful way for a custodial parent to obtain child support payments. If you have questions about child support collections or an employer’s obligations, an experienced Chicago child support collections lawyer can assist you. Contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more about how we can help.