CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS: HOW ARE THEY PAID TO THE CUSTODIAL PARENT?
Child support payments are determined by the Child Support Guidelines in effect at the time of the order or judgment. However, it is also necessary to determine how those payments are to be made to the custodial parent. The payments may be made by suspended or implemented wage assignment.
A suspended wage assignment means that the obligor (one paying child support) may pay the other parent directly or as the parties agree. Some parties opt for the payments to be made electronically into his/her bank account, by electronic payment, or by check or money order handed to or mailed to the parent. In the event the parties are unable to agree as to how the child support is to be paid, the Court will likely order an implemented wage assignment, particularly if the custodial parent requests the Department's services.
An implemented wage assignment requires an employer to withhold the weekly/biweekly child support order directly from the obligor's paycheck, and send it to the Department of Revenue's Child Support Enforcement address. Until the monies are withdrawn directly from his/her paycheck, the obligor must make the payments to the Department of Revenue and not directly to the other parent. This process may take a few weeks. Once the account has been established, both parents may obtain a "pin" number, and will be able to access information related to the account.
Whether an order is suspended or if it is implemented, the custodial parent must complete the Department of Revenue form. The Court issues a wage assignment that will state whether the order is suspended or implemented. In the event the obligor fails to pay his/her monies in a timely manner, the custodial parent may request the Court order the monies be paid by implemented wage assignment as above.
Under no circumstances should a child be used as a messenger in these matters, that is delivering the check to the custodial parent, or conveying a written or verbal message to the obligor that the money needs to be paid.
The most important thing to remember about child support is to pay the correct amount, as ordered, and do so consistently.