When to Use Wage Garnishment to Enforce a Child Support Order

When to Use Wage Garnishment to Enforce a Child Support Order

Non-custodial parents are often required to pay child support in North Carolina. When these payments aren’t made, the custodial parent has the option of getting a court order for a wage garnishment from the custodial parent to enforce the child support obligation.

However, many cases now require the use of automatic income withholding orders in North Carolina. This should prevent the need for getting a wage garnishment order unless an exception to automatic income withholding applies.

Automatic Income Withholding in North Carolina

North Carolina child support orders that were entered on or after January 1, 1994 generally require automatic income withholding. § 110-136.5. In these cases, the custodial parent can send a copy of the child support order to the non-custodial parent’s employer, and they will be required to remit the child support payment from each paycheck. The North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Office can assist you with this process.

The only exceptions to this rule are for cases were a good cause is shown for not requiring automatic income withholding, or if the parties have a written agreement that provides an alternative method of payment. If automatic withholding was not required, you will have to file a motion for a court order of wage garnishment.

Wage Garnishment for Child Support Payments

You can file a motion for a wage garnishment order if the non-custodial parent is delinquent in making payments, has an arrearage in child support payments, or makes payment erratically.   § 110-136.5 You will have to provide the court with the following information:

  • confirmation that the non-custodial parent is under a court order to pay child support
  • state whether the non-custodial parent is late in child support payments or makes payments erratically
  • state the amount of past due payments and the total amount sought to be withheld
  • the name of each child for whose benefit support is payable
  • contact information for the non-custodial parent’s employer and the amount of disposable income the non-custodial parent receives

Up to 40% of the obligated parent’s disposal income can be withheld from their paycheck for a child support payment for one child, and this amount can be increased in the case of support payments for multiple children.

If you need assistance securing child support payments, contact a family law attorney to discuss your case.

At King Law Office, we understand the challenges involved in any family law matter. Our goal is to help guide you through this process and listen to your concerns. Come visit us at one of our 12 office locations, including Hendersonville, Marion, and Hickory.