How child support payments are madeMost child support is paid by an income withholding order that is sent to the payor’s employer. The court order may state that the order is $300.00 per month, but, the income withholding order provides a breakdown of pay cycles so the employer can withhold child support from each regular paycheck. The four customary pay cycles are as follows:
Weekly: (every week or 52 paychecks) Bi-Weekly: (every 2 weeks or 26 paychecks)
Semi-Monthly: (twice per month or 24 paychecks) Monthly: (once per month or 12 paychecks)
In order to meet an obligation of $300.00 per month, the employer must withhold a child support payment each PAY PERIOD. A $300.00 per month order is multiplied by the full 12 months per year and then broken down by pay cycle as follows:
Weekly: $69.23 per week.
$300 per month X 12 months = $3600.00 divided by 52 weeks equals $69.23 PER WEEK. The custodial parent will receive $276.92 for approximately 8 months out of the year. For the remaining 4 months, the custodial parent will receive $346.16 per month to make up the difference of the 8 lower months. This will equal out to the $3600.00 at the end of the year. $276.92 X 8 months = $2215.36. $346.16 X 4 months = $1384.64. $2215.36 + 1384.66 = $3600.00Bi-Weekly: $138.46 every 2 weeks.
$300 per month X 12 months = $3600.00 divided by 26 weeks equals $138.46 BI-WEEKLY (every 2 weeks). The custodial parent will receive $276.92 approximately 10 months out of the year. For the remaining two months, the custodial parent will receive $415.39 to make up the difference of the 10 lower months. Again, this equals out to $3600.00 per year. $276.92 X 10 months = $2769.20. $415.40 X 2 months = $830.80. $2769.20 + $830.80 = $3600.00.Semi-Monthly: $150.00 twice per month
$300.00 per month X 12 months = $3600.00 divided by 24 weeks (semi-monthly) equals $150.00 twice per month or $300.00 per month.Monthly: One payment each month
$300.00 X 12 months = $3600.00
If payments are not received
Non-payment of child support could be for any number of reasons. Payment of support on a specific day of the week or date of the month can never be relied upon. New income withholding orders can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks for a first payment to be received. Payors who are self-employed or making payments on their own have the full month to pay the amount due for that month. Mail time, unpaid days off, lay off, holidays, change of jobs and a variety of other reasons could prevent or delay a child support payment. Our agency generally waits 30 days since the last payment was made to follow up with an employer. Our records system will automatically add up arrears for any unpaid support and the agency can take steps to obtain an additional order to withhold payments on that debt.
Enforcing a support order
The child support worker is required to take all enforcement measures at their disposal before referring the case for contempt. The agency can send enforcement warning letters, make appointments, start license suspension or require the payor to seek work as the first means of enforcement. If a payor fails to cooperate after a reasonable amount of time, the agency can refer the case for a civil contempt action. The purpose of a CIVIL contempt action is to remedy the non-payment of support. The goal is to motivate the payor to find work and/or pay the child support and arrears. The agency MUST prove to the Court that the payor KNEW there was an order, had the ABILITY to pay the order and still REFUSED to do so. A civil contempt action is a legal procedure and takes time to process. A hearing must be obtained and may not be available until 30-90 days after contempt is referred. The proper paperwork must be drafted, the evidence gathered and the payor personally served with notice of the hearing. The child support worker will keep the Custodial Parent informed as the process moves forward. Additionally, there is no guarantee that a contempt action will end in payment of support. The jail term is anywhere from 30 to 180 days and if the payor does not comply and sits the jail time, the contempt is over and the agency must wait for a period of time before filing a new action.