Virginia Wage Garnishment: Virginia Child Support Garnishment

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jul 15, 2021Fact Checked

Virginia wage garnishment and child support collection is similar to that in many other states. After court proceedings are over, the court or child support agency will generally assign the noncustodial parent to a child support garnishment order. This wage order is also served on the noncustodial parent’s employer, who is bound to enforce wage garnishment in a timely manner. The method of payment to the child support agency can differ depending on how many employees the employer has working for them. Read on for further explanation of Virginia wage garnishment.

Virginia Child Support Collection

Virginia child support collection is generally enforced through a “support order.” A “support order” is defined as a judgment of any court, in any state, that has the jurisdiction to order an individual to pay either child or spousal support. This support order is served on the noncustodial parent’s employer, and is binding on them until the date given on the order, until the employee terminates employment, or until the issuing agency contacts the employer.

Who Withholds the Money

After custody proceedings, the noncustodial parent’s employer will typically be served with a copy of the support order. The employer must enforce the order on the noncustodial parent by garnishing their wages for the amount specified in the order. An employer may object to any order that: (1) does not specify the amount to be withheld each pay period, (2) does not state the percentage that is to be held from the employee’s disposable earnings, (3) demands payment to an entity other than the Virginia Department of Social Services or the department’s designee, (4) states the wrong social security number for the employee, or (5) contains information that conflicts with the employer’s payroll records. An objection must be made within five days of receiving the order. If a court upholds the employer’s objection, then the order will be void.

In addition to the noncustodial parent’s employer, an administrator of other types of payments can be served with an order for support, and must honor the order. An administrator includes, but is not limited to, an administrator of pension funds, third-party sick pay, and workers’ compensation insurance.

When is Money Withheld

The first deduction from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck should come in the first pay period after the date the support order was issued. If an employer receives an order that demands a pay interval different from that of the employee, the employer should contact the agency, which will reissue the order in accordance with the employee’s pay interval. Following the first payment, employers should remit payment to the agency by mail on the employee’s payday. Virginia prefers that employers use Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), in either the Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) format or the Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format. When using this method to make payment, the employer should remit payment within four days after the employee’s payday. Any employer with 100 or more employees, or payroll center with 50 or more clients, must pay by EFT.

An employer can combine payments for multiple employees assigned to support orders, as long as they identify the employee’s name, payment amount, Social Security number, case number, date of withholding, and date of the payday. It is against the law for a Virginia agency to require separate payment for each employee if an employer has 10,000 or more employees, unless the employer gives their written consent. However, this law applies only to orders issued by Virginia agencies, and not those issued from out-of-state.

Out-of-State Orders

Like all other states, Virginia has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). To promote consistent enforcement throughout the country, UIFSA requires that an employer honor all out-of-state support orders. The laws of the employee’s work state should be followed when determining withholding limits, how to define disposable earnings, when to begin and to remit withholding, administrative fees, what to report when the employee terminates employment, and how to allocate two or more orders when the employee does not have enough disposable earnings to make all payments. On the other hand, when determining the duration, the amount to withhold, and where to remit payment, the laws of the issuing state should be followed.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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