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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • The noncustodial parent is not a Native American, but works on a Reservation. Will the employer withhold income from his or her paycheck to make the child support payment?

    If the tribe is operating a federally funded child support program, your caseworker should send the income withholding order to the tribal child support agency. The tribal child support agency will process the income withholding order and serve it on the tribal enterprise.

    If the tribe is not receiving federal funding to operate a child support program, your caseworker should contact the tribe's administrative office or tribal court to ask about their procedures for honoring an income withholding order.

    See our list of federally funded tribal child support agencies.

  • Is there a limit to the amount of money that can be taken from my paycheck for child support?

    Yes. The amount that can be withheld from your wages is limited by the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act.

    Here are the limits:

    • 50 percent of disposable income if an obligated parent has a second family
    • 60 percent if there is no second family

    These limits are each increased by 5 percent (to 55% and 65%) if payments are in arrears (past-due) for a period equal to 12 weeks or more. State law may further limit the amount that can be taken from your paycheck.

    Visit the Intergovernmental Reference Guide, select your state on the map, and look under “Income Withholding” to find information about your state’s income withholding limits and procedures.

  • What is income withholding?

    Income withholding is a process that deducts child support payments automatically from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck, like taxes. When a child support order is established, the child support agency sends an income withholding notice to the noncustodial parent’s employer. The notice explains how often and how much to withhold. The employer withholds the child support payment and sends it to the child support agency. The child support agency records the payment and sends the money to the custodial parent.

    Since January 1994, child support orders require income withholding unless both parents and the courts agree on another payment method.

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