Can Child Support Be Deducted From Two Jobs?

By Heather Frances J.D.

Parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their children, even when the parents divorce. Your divorce decree likely contains an order directing the non-custodial parent to pay a certain amount each month in child support, usually deducted from that individual's paycheck. In some cases, child support payments may be deducted from two jobs.

Income Withholding

In most cases, state law requires that child support orders contain an income withholding order requiring that child support payments be deducted directly from your paycheck. If your state allows parents to waive the income withholding order, the judge might not include it if you and your ex-spouse agree to waive it. Even if you both agree initially, however, your former spouse can ask the court or your state’s child support enforcement agency to issue an income withholding order at any time, and your ex-spouse is likely to request the order if you have not paid your support on time.

Employer Responsibility

Your employer is responsible for complying with your income withholding order, and your state may send him a notice directing that child support be withheld. Your employer cannot fire you because of the extra paperwork he must complete to comply with your order. Your employer must also comply with the Consumer Credit Protection Act limits on how much of your wages can be withheld.

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Consumer Credit Protection Act

The Consumer Credit Protection Act limits are based on percentages of your disposable income, meaning the money you take home after federal, state, local and Social Security taxes are deducted. Your employer cannot deduct more than 50 percent of your disposable income if you have a second family and you are current with your child support payments. However, if your support is at least 12 weeks past due, that maximum deduction amount increases to 55 percent. If one of your employers cannot withhold enough of your earnings to completely pay your required child support, a second employer may withhold the remaining amount, but the total withheld should not exceed the amount stated in your withholding order.

Past Due Support

If you owe past due support, the total amount listed on the income withholding notice your employer receives may be more than the amount in your original court order. If your employers cannot withhold the total support amount due, you are still responsible for paying the unpaid amount. You may be penalized by liens on your property, revocation of your driver’s license or passport and other enforcement measures if you fail to pay the full amount.

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What Can I Do if My Ex Is Working Under the Table & Not Paying Child Support?


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What Percentage of Income Does Child Support Take for One Kid?

Each state's laws determine how much child support a non-custodial parent must pay after a divorce, and the rates and method of calculation vary between states. These payments are intended to pay for a child's normal expenses, such as housing, food, clothing and education. Though courts frequently use the guidelines to set child support amounts, courts do not have to follow them in cases where they would not be appropriate, such as when a child needs special medical care because of a disability.

Child Support Laws on Back Payments in Michigan

Michigan makes it hard for non-custodial parents to fall behind in their child support obligations because most child support orders include mandatory income withholding provisions. Under this system, your employer deducts your support payments from your paychecks and sends the money to the state's child support collection unit. The unit then sends the money to your child’s other parent. However, some parents have been divorced for some time so their decrees predate the income withholding requirements. Others are self-employed, so income withholding may not work. If you fall too far behind in your payments, Michigan’s Friend of the Court (FOC) will attempt to collect from you.

Punishment for Not Paying Child Support in the State of Nevada

In Nevada, the amount of child support you have to pay is set by state guidelines based upon a percentage of your gross monthly income. The amount starts at 18 percent for one child if your ex-spouse has primary custody. This can be a hefty amount, especially if you are paying for more than one child. For example, if you have four children, you could be required to pay as much as 31 percent of your gross income. And, if you don’t pay child support as ordered, you can be punished financially, administratively and even criminally.

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