According to the U.S. Office of Child Support Enforcement, approximately $33 billion was obtained for child support in the 2016 fiscal year. Of the money collected, 75 percent was procured through some form of income withholding. Despite that large number, the OCSE is offering recommendations to the payroll community that could affect the paychecks of Texas residents currently paying child support.
One area of guidance the OCSE discussed was verification of employment. The OCSE has been receiving a rising number of complaints from state child support divisions regarding employer use of third-party processors in answering verification of employment requests. Specifically, the state groups are frustrated that these third-party providers attempt to charge states a fee for processing these requests despite employment verification being the duty of the employer. The OCSE noted that in the future it may suggest state governments refuse to pay and issue notices to employers regarding their responsibilities.
The OCSE also created new guidelines requiring employers with workers in multiple states to properly register their employees with the Multistate Employer Registry. This will help prevent workers from avoiding enforcement. Finally, the OCSE announced they had amended some of their standard forms, including the Income Withholding for Support Notice.
An order for child support can alter a non-custodial parent’s budget in a major way. It can be a balancing act to weigh the financial needs of the child with the budget restraints of a parent. An attorney with experience in family law may be able to help that parent present an accurate picture of their finances to the court in an effort to set child support at an amount that’s fair for all parties.