New York Child Support Collections and Fees
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After being assigned an order for child support, a noncustodial parent can expect that any form of income will be subject to New York wage garnishment, including lump-sum payments from their employer. While an employer may be subject to fines if they fail to enforce New York child support collections on an employee, the employee is not relieved of liability for the order. Once the employee ceases working for a particular employer, that employer is no longer responsible for enforcing the order for wage garnishment. However, the employer must follow a specific process to relieve itself of this liability.
Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment
Any income in New York is subject to garnishment for child support, including: any earned, unearned, taxable, or non-taxable income; lump-sum payments; or periodic payments including wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, workers' compensation, disability, unemployment, or Social Security benefits, or any payments made from a retirement program. When calculating the amount to withhold, any income defined as "earnings" by the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) is subject to protections.
Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments
An employer must withhold from lump-sum payments made to any employee subject to a support order. Lump-sum payments include severance pay, bonus pay, and commission. The withholding amount for these lump-sum payments is dependent on the amount of weeks the lump-sum payment covers. For example, if an employer owes the employee two weeks of vacation pay, they must withhold an equivalent of two weeks support deductions before disbursement to the employee. For further questions and information, the employer should contact:
NYS Employer Help Line
Phone: (888) 208-4484
Termination of Employment
When an employee stops working for an employer, the employer must notify the issuing agency of this change. The employer should immediately send a copy of the order, along with the company name, employee name and last known address, and if known, the address of the new employer. If the employee is re-hired within ninety days, the employer must begin withholding again. If an employee retires and will be receiving a pension plan, or any other type of retirement payments, the employer must notify the issuing agency of the address of the administrator of these payments.
In New York, an employer may not deduct fees associated with the costs of enforcing a support order.
Penalty for Noncompliance
If an employer fails to withhold or remit payment to the agency, the employer will be subject to a fine, equal to or above the amount they failed to withhold or remit. While the employer is liable to the employee for any payments not deducted, the employee is still obligated to pay this support.
New York State Office of Child Support – Contact Information
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Division of Child Support Enforcement
40 North Pearl Street, 13th Floor
Albany, NY 12243-0001
Phone: (518) 474-9081
Fax: (518) 486-3127