Can Child Support Be Deducted From Two Jobs?

If your child support obligation is being withheld from your wages, don't blame your child's other parent. Since 1994, federal law requires that when courts order a noncustodial parent to pay child support, his employer must withhold the support payments from his income and send them to his state's child support collection unit. If you're current with your support payments, this should not cause a problem, and it probably won't affect your second job. The rules change if you owe past due support.

Current Support

Your child's other parent can waive her right to have child support withheld from your paycheck. Otherwise, your employer will receive an income withholding order from the court when your support obligation goes into effect. Your employer is legally obligated to honor the order. If you have two jobs, it's unlikely the court would divide your payment between them. This would just increase the state's paperwork. The court bases your child support obligation on your income, and unless you fall behind, your payments should not be so high that your earnings from one job aren't enough to cover them. Most likely, the withholding order would apply only to one paycheck, leaving your other paycheck untouched, according to the website Lawyers.com.

Past Due Support

If your child's other parent waived income withholding, or if you were out of work temporarily and this caused you to fall behind in your payments, your state will probably try to recover your arrears, or your past due payments, from any source possible. Your child support unit can even intercept your tax refund or garnish your bank account if you owe a great deal of past due support. The federal government allows for garnishments of up to 65 percent of your disposable pay for child support arrears if you are not supporting another family and if it's been 12 weeks since you made your last payment. Depending on how far behind you are, your state could legally order a deduction of 65 percent from each paycheck until you catch up. Federal law allows for garnishment from any source of income you have when you owe past due support. Child support garnishments take precedence over all your other creditors, with the exception of the federal government, if you owe taxes.

Multiple Child Support Orders

If you owe child support for more than one family, this might affect your second paycheck, even if you're not behind in your payments. If you owe $400 in support each week--$250 for one family and $150 for another--one obligation may come out of each of your paychecks if one paycheck alone is not sufficient to cover the entire $400. If you are behind on both child support orders, your state would most likely take 65 percent from each of your paychecks. The larger paycheck would apply to the larger child support order or the one that's most delinquent.

Your Rights

Your employers can't fire you because you're having child support withheld from your wages. If another creditor gets a garnishment order against you, however, this might be cause for dismissal if you are having past due child support payments deducted as well, reports the website Divorce Law Firms.

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