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Wage Withholding For Child Support

§ 16:67. Ohio

Federal standards adopted. Ohio’s law on income withholding generally conforms to the federal child support withholding requirements, including:

  • limits on the amount withheld;
  • the priority of support withholding over other claims;
  • spousal support;
  • health insurance;
  • the time to begin the withholding;
  • the time to send withheld amounts to the state;
  • combining separate payments to be made to the same agency or court; and
  • recognizing support orders issued in other states.

Independent contractors. Income made by independent contractors is not specifically included in the child support statutes.

Employer’s recovery of administrative costs. An employer may deduct from the employee’s earnings, in addition to the amount withheld for purposes of support, a fee of five dollars or an amount not to exceed the lowest rate that it charges, if any, for a debit transaction in a similar account, whichever is less, to cover its administrative costs. The employer must immediately forward the amounts withheld for support to the clerk of the court issuing the order or to the bureau of support of the county in which that court is located, as directed in the order.

Withholding order arising from contempt action. An order for the payment of support by withholding from an employee’s personal earnings may result from a contempt action brought by a party who has a legal claim to support.

Notice and employee’s option to object. For an obligor-employee to prevent the issuance of an order to the employee’s employer to withhold a part of the employee’s earnings for the payment of support, he or she must file a written request for a hearing with the court to determine whether there was a mistake of fact. This filing must occur within 10 days after the employee’s receipt of notice of a pending withholding order. To prevent the inclusion of an amount for the payment of arrearages in the withholding order, the obligor-employee must, within 10 days after the court’s notice is mailed to him or her, request a hearing to determine whether the employee is in default under the support order.

Time to begin the withholding. The employer must begin the withholding two weeks after receipt of the order from the court and must continue the withholding at intervals specified in the order until further order of the court.

Sending notice of the allocations made among competing orders to the courts. When an employer receives more than one withholding order for a single employee and prorates the orders, the employer must give each court that issued an order notice of the proration.

Notifying the agency of an employee’s termination or an employee’s or obligee’s change of address. The employer must notify the county child support agency designated to enforce child support orders in writing within 10 days after the date of any termination of the obligor’s employment, any layoff of the obligor, any leave of absence by the obligor without pay, or any other situation in which the employer ceases to pay personal earnings to the obligor in an amount sufficient to comply with the order. Also, it must identify in that notice the types and amounts of benefits other than personal earnings that the obligor receives or is eligible to receive as a benefit of employment or as a result of the obligor’s termination of employment, including unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, severance pay, sick leave, lump-sum payments of retirement benefits or contributions and bonuses or profit-sharing payments for distributions.

Availability of health insurance. The availability of reasonably priced health insurance is adequate grounds for requesting a review of a support order issued pursuant to the federal support withholding law. Health insurance is considered reasonable in cost if it is employment related or other group health insurance. The state’s child support enforcement agency will investigate and verify the availability of reasonably priced health insurance from each party’s employer. It will then present the information from its investigation to the court along with any recommendation regarding the modification of the support order to include insurance.

By Adam Hunt

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