At the conclusion of child custody proceedings the Texas Child Support Division or County Domestic Relations Office have the duty to assign the non-custodial parent with an order for child support collection. Wage garnishment in Texas is enforced by the non-custodial parent’s employer or administrator of another source of income.
In respect of child support collection, a support order also known as a ‘writ of withholding’ can either be for spousal maintenance, child maintenance or child support. The amount that is withheld must be paid to the Child Support Division or County Domestic Relations Office in the manner that is specified and required on the order.
Further, each amount must be clear as to which payment it is to be applied to noting either spousal maintenance or stating that it is for child support. Where money is withheld in respect of arrears, the amount paid must clearly indicate that it is to be paid towards arrearage.
An employee may file a request that the court issue and deliver a support order to the employer; this request must be signed by both the employee and the employer who is obligated to make the payments. A notice to withhold must be served on either a person authorized to receive service or an employer may delegate an individual to receive writs of withholding by written notice to the court. Once served the writ of withholding is binding on an employer or on an administrator of another source of income. This is irrespective of whether they are named in the order or not.
When an employer is served with an order for both child support garnishment and spousal support, the employer is responsible for indicating the amounts for each payment. The employer should be aware that there are different deadlines for making payment to the Texas State Disbursement Unit. These deadlines are determined by the manner in which the employer will make payment in respect of support. There are two payment options available to an employer check or electronic payment. When payment is to be made electronically it is required that the employer remit payment within two working days after the employee’s payday. When payment is to be made by check, the employer is obligated to remit payment on the date of the payday of the employee. It is a requirement that employers with more than two hundred and fifty employees make support payments electronically to the Texas State Disbursement Unit.
Where an employer has more than one employee with a writ of withholding, a combined payment can be remitted to the Texas State Disbursement Unit. However, the employer must ensure that he/she has identified the amounts to be paid by each employee. In respect of employees with writs of withholding for both spousal maintenance and child support, these payments can be sent to the Texas State Disbursement Unit.
For more information on wage garnishment in Texas, contact a lawyer in Houston, Texas.