Income withholding is a process by which an employed parent, ordered by a court to pay child support, has the payments withheld directly from his or her salary. Federal statutory requirements concerning income withholding for states have recently changed. Information provided on this website will assist you with these changes so you may correctly implement income withholding under Georgia and federal law.
Effective May 31, 2012, if an employer receives a document to withhold child support from a noncustodial parent’s (NCP) income that is not issued on the OMB-approved Income Withholding Order for Support (IWO) form as required by federal law, the employer must reject the document for withholding and return it to the sender. The result will be that no child support is collected. The solution is to obtain and use the correct IWO form and other required documents.
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Some of the language used in the forms you will complete for income withholding may be unfamiliar. The terms and definitions provided below may help you navigate the federal IWO form, the IDO and other related forms:
- Non-custodial parent (NCP) means that same thing as obligor, paying parent, payor or employee.
- Custodial parent (CP) means the same thing as obligee, person receiving child support, and payee.
- Remittance Identifier is the social security number of the NCP
- CSE agency case identifier is only used by the Georgia Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
- Order identifier is the civil action case number or docket number issued by the clerk of superior court in your child support action.
- Employer Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is the employer/income withholder’s nine-digit number. Include this number only if it is known to you.
- First withholding time period is found in the IWO form, Remittance Information section and the number 14 is entered in this field. See O.C.G.A. §19-6-33.
- A date field is found in IWO form, Remittance Information section. Enter in this field the date you mail the IWO to the employer.
- Send payment time period is found in the IWO form, Remittance Information section and the number 2 is entered in this field. See O.C.G.A. §19-6-33.
- Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) % limits – see the “Withholding Limits” section on page 3 of the IWO form and refer to this website:
- Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code is used only by the Georgia Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).
- State Disbursement Unit (SDU) in Georgia is the Family Support Registry (FSR).
The Income Withholding Order (IWO) is a form used as a NOTICE that is mailed to the noncustodial parent’s employer and identifies for the employer how much child support to deduct from the noncustodial parent’s wages. Using the form as a “notice” allows for the entry of a new IWO each time the noncustodial parent changes jobs.
Important! DO NOT file the IWO with the Superior Court Clerk’s office!
The IWO cannot be signed by a judge and filed in the superior court clerk’s
office because it contains a field for the obligor’s Social Security number
(SSN). Filing a document with a SSN violates Georgia law.
Anyone who wants child support deducted by an employer from the wages of the NCP.
The federal government, specifically at sections 466(a)(1), (a)(8) and 466 (b)(6)(A)(ii) of the Social Security Act, requires that states use the federally approved Income Withholding Order (IWO) for the deduction of child support. Thus, this requirement applies to everyone seeking to use income withholding as a way to collect child support.
Starting with May 31, 2012, everyone must use the mandatory IWO form to set up the withholding of child support with an employer each time the NCP changes jobs.
Follow these steps to correctly start child support income withholding (the forms identified below are available in the left menu box of this website and must be prepared and delivered/mailed by you):
A. Send these documents to the Family Support Registry (FSR):
(1) FSR registration form, and
(2) Income Deduction Order (IDO) as required by O.C.G.A. §19-6-32(a.1)(3), including adjudicated child support arrears, if any, as required by O.C.G.A. §19-6-32(b)(2).
B. Send these documents to the Employer/Payor:
(1) Mandatory Federal Income Withholding Order (IWO) form,
(2) Income Deduction Order (IDO) as required by O.C.G.A. §19-6-33(a) , and
(3) Notice to Payor as required by O.C.G.A. §19-6-33(a).
C. Send these documents to the Noncustodial Parent:
(1) Income Deduction Order (IDO) as required by O.C.G.A. §19-6-32(a.1)(3), and
(2) Statement of Rights, Remedies, and Duties as required by O.C.G.A. §19-6-32(e), but only when there is an IDO which is effective immediately.
Important! Mail documents for the Family Support Registry (FSR) to
P O Box 1800
Carrollton, GA 30112-1800
The posting of child support payments from an employer can only be
All Income Deduction Orders and related IWOs that order an employer to withhold child support payments, including those issued by courts and private attorneys, must direct payments to the state disbursement unit, in Georgia that is the FSR.
Employers/income withholders are instructed to return the IWO to the sender, if payment is not directed to the SDU/FSR.
If the FSR does not receive the FSR Registration Form and Income Deduction Order (IDO), containing the new/modified child support order information, prior to receiving a child support payment from the employer or the NCP, the money will:
Scenario 1: Not post to the unknown case on the DCSS/FSR database and will refund to the NCP; or
Scenario 2: It will post to other NCP cases, if one or more already exists on the DCSS/FSR database; or
Scenario 3: Will post to the existing case but any amounts received that exceed the old current support amount may refund to the NCP.
In any event, the NCP will not receive credit for the payment(s) on the new case or the new modified order when information is not known to FSR.
Take steps to avoid these situations: Always submit the FSR Registration Form and IDO to the Family Support Registry prior to notifying the employer to begin withholding the child support from the NCP’s salary. Even though Georgia's income deduction law allows the employer time to establish income withholding from the NCP's salary, money may still reach the FSR prior to registration of the case on the database and not post correctly. This is especially true if the NCP already has an existing non-IV-D or IV-D case registered on the child support database.
Letters will be mailed to the custodial parent (CP) and the non-custodial parent (NCP) identified on the FSR Registration form. The letters will include information on how the CP will receive child support. Options for receipt of payments are by debit card or direct deposit. The first payment received by FSR will be mailed to the CP as a paper check. This first payment will also trigger notice to the DCSS debit card company to issue a debit card to the CP, unless the CP has already chosen direct deposit. It is very important that the CP maintain a current mailing address with DCSS to ensure receipt of the debit card and timely case information.
Visit this website for more information:
From the left menu select “Services?-->Where to Send Payments.” Be sure to read information on this website about fees charged.
Payments mailed to the FSR should be directed to one of three post office boxes, depending on the payment source. Otherwise, use the following information:
• Non-Custodial Parent Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1600 Carrollton, GA 30112-1600
• Employer or Private Attorney Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1800 Carrollton, GA 30112-1800
• Out of State Child Support Agency Family Support Registry
P.O. Box 1700 Carrolton, GA 30112-1700
Prepare and send these
documents to the Family Support
Registry (FSR) before any
documents are mailed to the
Prepare and send these
documents to the
Warning: Do Not have a judge sign the IWO or file it with the Clerk of Superior Court.
Prepare and send these
documents to the Noncustodial