North Carolina Child Support Collections and Fees
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UPDATED: Apr 10, 2011
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All North Carolina employers that receive a support order for one or more employees must follow the specific wage garnishment laws of North Carolina. Any employer who fails to do so will be subject to heavy penalties for noncompliance. When paying out a lump-sum payment, an employer is not required to report this payment to the North Carolina Office of Child Support. An employer is also allowed to deduct up to a certain amount of administrative fees for costs associated with enforcing the order. The following article explains some of these concepts in more detail.
Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment
North Carolina defines “income,” for purposes of a support order, as part of the compensation paid or payable to the responsible parent for personal services, whether denominated in wages, salary, commission, bonuses, payments pursuant to a retirement plan, or any other deferred compensation program. All income must be considered as being potentially subject to an order for support. Some income, however, is afforded protections.
Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments
Employers in North Carolina are not required to report lump-sum payments made to employees subject to a support order.
Termination of Employment
An employer is required to contact the issuing agency immediately upon termination or retirement of an employee subject to a support order. The employer should send the agency a copy of the order with the company name, employee name and last known address, the date of termination of employment, and, if known, the new employer’s address. If the employee retires, the employer should be sure to include the name and address of the pension or other retirement plan administrator.
The employer may deduct up to $2 in fees for each payment it withholds and remits. The fees must come out of the employee’s earnings, not the support payment, and the total of the fee and payment must never exceed the withholding limits.
Penalty for Noncompliance
If an employer fails to deduct or to remit payment for an employee subject to a support order, the employer will be held liable to the employee and/or the agency for any amount not paid. Further, the employer may be subject to reasonable damages that the employee suffers as a result of the employer’s failure to remit payment. However, the employer is not expected to vary the employee’s normal pay or disbursement cycles in order to comply with a support order, and will not be held liable for failure to do so.
North Carolina State Office of Child Support – Contact Information
Child Support Enforcement Division
100 E. Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27609-7750
Phone: (919) 571-4120
Fax: (919) 881-2280