North Carolina Wage Garnishment: North Carolina Child Support Garnishment

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North Carolina wage garnishment begins after a noncustodial parent is assigned to an order for child support collection. The noncustodial parent may make this request for assignment themselves if they wish. Most often, a noncustodial parent's employer will be the one to receive the North Carolina child support collection order. Once an employer receives an order, it must remit payment each payday and cannot accumulate payments to make them monthly. This process must be followed until the expiration of the order. The following article sets forth some of the details of North Carolina wage garnishment law.

North Carolina Child Support Collection

A North Carolina employee may be assigned to a support order, or may, either in writing or in open court, request that the employer withhold funds for a support order. Often a support order for spousal support will be combined with a child support order. The order for support may include any combination of the following: current support, arrearages, processing fees, court costs, and attorneys' fees.

Who Withholds the Money

A North Carolina employer or administrator of another source of income will withhold for the support order. Once a support order has been implemented, it is binding on all of the employee's current and future employers until the order has expired. North Carolina follows the Fair Labor Standards Act's definition of employer: any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee, including a public agency, but not including any labor organization (other than when acting as an employer) or anyone acting in the capacity of officer or agent of such labor organization. An administrator of another source of income includes, but is not limited to, the administrator of a pension fund, third-party sick pay insurance, or workers' compensation insurance.

When is Money Withheld

The employer should withhold the first payment for a support order within fourteen days of the date of the order. Thereafter, the employer must remit payment within seven working days of the employee's payday. The employer may not accumulate deductions to make one monthly payment, no matter how often they withhold. If the employer has more than one employee assigned to a support order, they may combine all payments into a single payment. In this case, the employer needs to identify the payments made for each employee. Payment can be made by check or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If the employer remits payment by check, the check should be made payable to N.C. Child Support and sent to North Carolina Child Support Centralized Collections. If paying by EFT, North Carolina accepts payment in Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) format or Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format.

Out-of-State Orders

North Carolina follows the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which provides that all employers must honor any support order received from another state. The employee's work state laws will govern how disposable earnings are defined, the withholding limits, how to allocate orders, and where or when to begin and remit payment. On the other hand, the laws of the state issuing the support order are to be followed when determining the duration of the support order, where to send payment, and the amount to withhold. While many states have less restrictive withholding limits than North Carolina, the North Carolina limits must be followed if the employee works in the state.

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