Employer Income Withholding Instructions
This is a brief explanation of the employer's responsibility for income withholding. For a complete explanation, read the booklet entitled Employers's Guide to Income Assignment
When to Begin Withholding
Federal and state regulations require that when an Order/Notice to Withhold Income For Child Support is received an employer must:
- Start withholding child support no later than the first pay period that occurs fourteen (14) working days after the date on the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support
- Send the withheld child support to the address on the order/notice within seven (7) business days of the date that the employee is paid
What You Need to Know About Withholding
- Priority – Child support withholdings take priority over any other legal process carried out under state law against the same income, even if the other withholding orders were served first. Child support must be withheld from disposable income before deductions for other withholding orders are taken, up to 50-65% of the employee's disposable earnings.
- The only exception is if a federal tax levy is received before the Order/Notice To Withhold Income For Child Support.
- Pay Period Frequency – State law requires that you divide the withholding among the pay periods for the month, but the total amount withheld in a month must equal the monthly amount due as specified on the income withholding order.
- Do not hold payments until the monthly amount is reached
- Duration – You may not stop the withholding because the employee has asked you to do so, or because the arrears appear to be paid.
- The withholding stays in effect until the person or representative who sent the Order officially notifies you in writing. Failure to withhold may result in an employer's liability for payments not withheld.
- Fees for Withholding – Colorado law allows employers to charge a processing fee of up to $5.00 per month from the remainder of the employee's earnings, after the child support has been withheld.
- Do not deduct the fee from the child support payment.
- Bankruptcy – If the employee tells you they have filed for bankruptcy, continue deducting child support until the county Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Unit that initiated the income withholding contacts you.
- Tell the employee to contact the CSE Unit that initiated the income withholding.
- Employee Termination – When an employee ends his/her employment, and you are sending payments to the Family Support Registry (FSR), you must notify the FSR in writing and provide them with:
- Employee's name
- Date of separation
- Case identifier – typically the FSR account number
- Last known home address
- Name and address of this person's new employer, if known
- Rehired employee – If a terminated employee is later rehired, do not wait to receive a new Order/Notice to Withhold for Child Support. You should honor the existing notice, since withholdings are continuous. To restart coupons, contact the FSR Employer Outreach Department.
- Income Withholding from Another State – If you receive a income withholding from another state that appears valid on its face, you are required to honor it just as if it was received from Colorado.