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Florida Wage Garnishment: Florida Child Support Garnishment

UPDATED: April 10, 2011

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The process of Florida wage garnishment mandates that employers must abide by Florida child support collection laws once served with an order. It's important that the employer make timely deductions from the wages of the noncustodial parent, and that they remit these child support collection payments to the Florida State Disbursement Unit. Further, since Florida has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), an employer who receives an out-of-state order for wage garnishment must honor it. The following information is meant to provide a deeper understanding of child support garnishment in Florida.

Florida Child Support Collection

When a noncustodial parent is assigned an order of support, this order is binding on the noncustodial parent's employer until the issuing agency notifies them otherwise. For a private support order, it may be necessary for the parties to file a motion to terminate. In Florida, a support order is issued by a court, administrative agency, or the Department of Revenue (DOR), and may include expenses for monetary support for a spouse, a former spouse, or a child, as well as health care, arrearages, or past support. When issued by the DOR, the department may also collect non-covered medical expenses in installments through wage garnishment. If the support order is enforced by the DOR, the order will include spousal support. On the other hand, if the order is enforced by a court or any other administrative agency, the order will be for child support only.

Who Withholds the Money

The order for support is served upon the noncustodial parent's employer, or "payor." Florida defines a "payor" as an employer, former or present, or any other person or agency providing income to the noncustodial parent. An order for support may also be served on an administrator for other sources of income, such as pension funds, third-party sick pay and workers' compensation insurance. This order is binding on both an employer and an administrator of another source of income.

When is Money Withheld

When an employer (or an administrator of another source of income) first receives an order for support, they must deduct and remit payment to the agency no later than fourteen days after the date of the order. After the initial payment, the employer should make and remit support deductions within two days after each payday. Payment for most orders should be sent to the Florida State Disbursement Unit (FLSDU). However, some older, private orders may need to be sent to the issuing county. If the FLSDU receives a payment from an employer that was supposed to be sent to the issuing county, it will be returned. Payments can be made by check, or by credit or debit card online, or by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If making the payment by check, the employer may combine several employees' payments into one. However, the employer should be sure to itemize the payment for each employee, along with the employee(s) pay date.

If the employer employed more than ten employees in any quarter of the last fiscal year, or the employer's business was subject to or paid over $30,000 in taxes to the Department of Finance, the employer must remit payment electronically to the FLSDU. This electronic payment must be in a form approved by the Department of Finance. The Florida Child Support Payment Center accepts EFT payments in both Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) format and Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format.

Out-of-State Orders

The state of Florida has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This means that when an employer is served with an out-of-state order, they must enforce it. The laws of the issuing state will guide the employer in determining the duration of the order, as well as the amount to withhold and where the payment should be sent. The employee's work state's laws determine when to begin and remit withholding, how disposable earnings are defined, how to allocate orders when an employee is subject to more than one, and the withholding limits.

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