Oregon Wage Garnishment: Oregon Child Support Garnishment

Oregon child support garnishment is a process through which money is collected from the employer of the  noncustodial parent (paying parent) to provide for the care of a minor child. An order for child support collection is usually served on the noncustodial parent’s employer, and the employer is legally bound to enforce the order through wage garnishment. There are specific timelines for remittance of wages; if the employer fails to forward the support within these timeless, the employer may be liable for noncompliance. Employers are required to make income withholding payments electronically through the CSPay website which debits the employer’s bank account for the child support payments or through an ACH credit transfer. The following article is aimed at helping you understand the basics of Oregon wage garnishment.

Oregon Child Support Collection

A support order is any order issued by a court or agency with competent jurisdiction for the purposes of child or spousal support. Support orders can be used for collecting monetary support, health care, arrearages, costs and fees, interest, and attorney’s fees. The order is binding on the noncustodial parent (paying parent) until the issuing agency notifies them of the order’s termination. Child support withholding may also be terminated if both parents agree to another method of payment in writing, or if the child is in the custody of the Department of Human Services or the Oregon Youth Authority and the noncustodial parent requests another method of payment in writing.

Who Withholds the Money 

A withholder in Oregon is an individual, company or agency that disburses income. A withholder includes an employer, an insurer or other administrator of income of the employee, conservator, or trustee. A withholder is bound by the support order, and must garnish the wages of the noncustodial parent until the order is satisfied. An administrator of income can include an administrator of a pension plan payment, workers’ compensation payments, and third-party sick pay. The withholder must continue to withhold in Oregon until they receive a notice from the issuing agency or court relieving them of this responsibility.

When is Money Withheld 

The employer must deduct support payments from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck at the next pay period. The withheld pay is sent to the Division of Child Support within seven days of the pay date. If the order only specifies a monthly amount due, the employer should multiply the monthly amount due by twelve, and divide by the number of pay periods in a year. If the order requires that the payment be remitted monthly, and pay periods are more frequent than this, the employer should deduct the appropriate amount from each pay period so that the monthly amount is met.

Unless there is an exception, Oregon requires 
withholding payments to be made electronically: CSPay or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The employer is required to submit payment by EFT if it meets any of the following criteria: (1) the employer has five or more employees and has received at least one support order for an employee; (2) the employer has fewer than five employees but has received more than one support order for its employees; or (3) the employer already makes its federal corporate estimated tax or federal payroll tax payment by EFT. If the employer shows that its payroll system will not support making EFT payments, they may qualify for an exemption.

The employer can make EFT payments through its bank or it can use the web-based application CSPay, Oregon’s online child support payment system. Oregon accepts the Cash Concentration and Disbursement (CCD+) as well as the Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format for EFT payments. The employer may combine withheld amounts for multiple employees in a single payment. If so, the employer must identify the payment for each employee by providing the employee’s full name, case number, payment amount, and the actual payday.

Out of State Withholding Orders 

Oregon has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which mandates that an employer must honor another state’s child support income withholding orders. The employer should follow the issuing state’s laws when determining where to send the order, the duration of the order, and the amount to withhold for current, arrears, and medical support. Meanwhile, the employer should follow the laws of the employee’s work state when determining the acceptable administrative fees to charge, when to begin and remit payment, how disposable earnings are defined, withholding limits, allocation of orders, and the process upon termination or retirement of the employee.