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Alabama Child Support Collections and Fees

UPDATED: August 16, 2011

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A noncustodial parent assigned an order for Alabama child support garnishment must be aware that any income they receive may be garnished for purposes of Alabama child support collection. This obligation cannot be avoided by terminating work with the employer, as the employer is bound by law to report the employee’s termination, as well as the new employer’s name and address. In addition to garnishing the employee’s wages for child support collections, the employer may deduct a small fee to account for the costs of enforcing the order.

Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment

Alabama defines income as wages, salary, commissions, tips, bonuses, disability payments, unemployment or workers’ compensation, retirement plan payments, and any other form of periodic payment. Any source of income is potentially subject to child support garnishment, but some forms of income are expressly made exempt from garnishment. Exemptions are determined in Alabama based on the federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA).

Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments

While Alabama does not have specific reporting requirements to follow when an employee is owed a lump-sum payment, the employer should contact the agency with any questions:

Melanie Duncan

Phone: (334) 242-9312

Email: Melanie.duncan@dhr.alabama.gov

Termination of Employment

Upon the employee’s termination, the employer should immediately notify the agency. The employer must send a copy of the order with the following information: company name, employee name and address, date of termination, and if known, the new employer name and address. The employer should also notify the agency when the employee retires. In the case of retirement, the employer should follow the same procedure, as well as inform the agency of the name and address of the pension plan administrator.

Administrative Fees

For costs associated with child support collection, Alabama allows employers to charge a fee of up to $2 per month. However, employers must deduct this fee from the employee’s wages, not the support payment. The employer should also be aware that the total of the fee and the support payment may never exceed Alabama’s maximum withholding limits.

Penalty for Noncompliance

The court will determine the penalty when an employer does not comply with a support order. The employer may be held in contempt of court and held liable for any unpaid amount.

Alabama State Office of Child Support – Contact Information

Department of Human Resources

Child Support Enforcement Division

P.O. Box 304000

Montgomery, AL 36130-4000

Phone: (334) 242-9300

Fax: (334) 242-0606

Website

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