South Carolina Child Support Collections and Fees
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To cover the costs in enforcing a support order for South Carolina child support collections, South Carolina allows the employer to subtract a small fee from the employee’s wages for each withholding made. Further, if the employee leaves, the employer must immediately inform the agency. This benefits both the noncustodial parent (paying parent) and the employer, as the noncustodial parent will not fall behind on payments, while the employer will no longer be subject to the wage garnishment order.
Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment
Income in South Carolina for the purposes of wage garnishment child support order includes any form of periodic payment, such as wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, compensation as an independent contractor, workers’ compensation, disability payments, annuity and retirement benefits, voluntary payments made to a retirement program, and interest.
Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments
While South Carolina has no requirement that employers report lump-sum payments owed to an employee assigned to a support order, they may deduct the payment upon request. For questions or more information, the employer can contact:
South Carolina Dept. of Social Services
P.O. Box 1469
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 898-9339
Termination of Employment
An employer must deduct child support payments as long as the paying spouse/employee is working for them. If the paying spouse/employee leaves, the employer is no longer required to honor the support order.
Within 20 days of leaving the job, the employer must inform the issuing agency about this change of status with the following information: a) copy of the order, b) company name, c) employee’s name and last known home address, d) the last date employed, and e) the new employer’s name and address, if known.
Similarly, notification to the agency must be made when an employee (paying spouse) retires. The employer should follow the same process for retirement as they do for job termination, adding contact information of the administrator of the pension plan program.
To account for the administrative costs associated with support withholding, the employer is allowed to tack on a fee of up to $3 for each withholding. The fee is subtracted from the employee’s wages, and not the support payment. The employer's administrative fee can not exceed South Carolina’s maximum withholding limits.
Penalty for Noncompliance
If an employer ignores the wage withholding order, the employer will be held liable for the unpaid accumulated amount. Furthermore, employers can be subject to a maximum $500 if the employer fails to notify the court that health insurance is available to the paying spouse/employee.
South Carolina State Office of Child Support – Contact Information
Department of Social Services
Child Support Enforcement Division
P.O. Box 1469
Columbia, SC 29202-1469
Phone: (803) 898-9341; (800) 768-5858
Fax: (803) 898-9126