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Virginia Child Support Collections and Fees

UPDATED: April 10, 2011

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An employer served with a support order for one of its employees must abide by the wage garnishment laws of Virginia. The Virginia Office of Child Support not only requires that employers make timely payments, but also limits the administrative fee that the employer can charge the employee. Further, because the employer is bound by law to enforce Virginia child support garnishment, they must immediately notify the agency upon the employee's termination or retirement from the company. An employer who does not follow the specific laws of Virginia may be subject to civil suits and fines.

Income Subject to Withholding for Child Support Garnishment

Any of the noncustodial parent's income is subject to withholding in Virginia. Virginia defines "income" as any source of periodic payment from any entity or individual. This includes, but is not limited to, salaries, wages, commissions, royalties, bonuses, dividends, severances, pension or retirement payments, interest, trust income, annuities, capital gains, Social Security, workers' compensation, unemployment, disability, or veterans' benefits. Additionally, spousal support, rental income, gifts, prizes, and awards are included in the Virginia definition of income.

Bonuses and Other Lump Sum Payments

While any source of income is subject to withholding in Virginia, employers are not required to report lump-sum payments owed to the employee.

Termination of Employment

Since all employers are required to enforce support orders, it is important that an employer, in order to relieve itself of this liability, notify the issuing agency if the employee retires or otherwise terminates their employment. The employer should send a copy of the order into the agency and include the company name, employee's name and address, the date of separation from employment, and the new employer or pension administrator's name and address, if known.

Administrative Fees

An employer in Virginia will, in the course of administering a support order through wage garnishment, typically incur associated costs. Virginia law allows an employer to subtract up to $5 for each payment remitted to the issuing agency. This fee must come out of the employee's wages, and the total fee and payment can never exceed the withholding limits.

Penalty for Noncompliance

The penalties for failing to enforce an order for support in Virginia are stiff. An employer is bound by law to withhold and remit payment in a timely fashion. An employer will be held liable for any payments not deducted or remitted from the paycheck of the noncustodial parent.

Virginia State Office of Child Support – Contact Information

Department of Social Services

Division of Child Support Enforcement

730 East Broad Street

Richmond, VA 23219-1849

Phone: (804) 692-1900

Fax: (804) 692 1405


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