Indiana Child Support Collections and Fees
UPDATED: April 10, 2011
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The Indiana Office of Child Support considers almost any form of the noncustodial parent’s income to be subject to child support garnishment. This includes lump-sum payments, which are subject to withholding for child support collections. If an employer has questions about how much to withhold from wages or lump-sum payments, they should contact the Indiana Child Support Bureau. Failure to withhold or remit the proper amount could lead to harsh penalties for the employer.
Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment
Income in Indiana is defined very broadly. "Income" means anything of value owed to the employee. A noncustodial parent must consider any source of income as being subject to wage garnishment for child support purposes. When calculating what portion of this income is to be deducted for a support order, however, some income is protected – specifically, all income defined as “earnings” by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) is subject to wage garnishment limitations.
Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments
An employer must withhold before paying out a lump-sum payment to an employee subject to a support order. Lump-sum payments include, but are not limited to, severance, accumulated sick pay, vacation pay, accumulated commissions, or a bonus. To calculate the amount to withhold, the employer should first contact the support agency to find out the arrears balance, if any. If there is an arrears balance, the employer should then multiply the employee’s weekly support payment by the number of weeks represented in the lump-sum payment. The employer should withhold whichever is the lesser of these two amounts from the lump-sum payments. But keep in mind that the withholding can never exceed Indiana’s maximum withholding limits. For questions, or to inquire about an arrears balance, contact:
Employer Maintenance Unit
Indiana State Child Support Bureau
402 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (800) 292-0403; (317) 232-0327
Termination of Employment
When an employee stops working for an employer, the employer must notify the child support agency either within ten days of the date of termination or when income payment ceases. This applies to independent contractors as well. The employer should include the employee’s last known home address as well as the address of the new income payor, if known. If an employee or independent contractor retires, the employer must notify the agency of the pension administrator’s name and address, if any.
There will naturally be costs associated with enforcing a support order. Indiana law allows the employer to deduct up to $2 per payment to the agency. This deduction must come out of the employee’s wages. Further, the total amount of the support payment and the fee can never exceed Indiana’s withholding limits.
Penalty for Noncompliance
Upon the failure to remit payment to the child support agency, an employer will be held liable for the total amount due.
Indiana State Office of Child Support – Contact Information
Department of Child Services
Division of Family Resources
Child Support Bureau
402 W. Washington St., Room W-360
Indianapolis, IN. 46204
Phone: (317) 232-4885
Fax: (317) 233-4925