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Broyles v. Iowa Dept. of Social Services
305 N.W.2d 718 (1981)
Donald E. BROYLES, Appellee, v. IOWA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, Appellant.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
May 13, 1981.
*720 Thomas J. Miller, Atty. Gen., and John R. Martin, Asst. Atty. Gen., Davenport, for appellant.
Realff H. Ottesen, Davenport, for appellee.
Considered by LeGRAND, P. J., and McCORMICK, ALLBEE, McGIVERIN, and SCHULTZ, JJ.
The Iowa Department of Social Services, as assignee of support payments provided for in a support order rendered against Donald E. Broyles, appeals from a decision of the Scott County District Court holding that the judgment debtor, Donald, is not obligated to the Department for past-due support payments. We hold the trial court erred and reverse and remand.
Pursuant to a 1974 dissolution of marriage decree, Donald was ordered to pay $25 child support per week to Michelle L. Broyles through the office of the Scott County Clerk of Court. On May 4, 1976, as a condition of receiving welfare assistance, Michelle assigned her rights to child-support payments to the Department. The assignment, which was filed with the clerk of court in the dissolution file, provided:
At the time of the assignment Donald was delinquent on his support payments in the sum of $450.
On September 27, 1977, a notification of partial termination of assignment was filed with the clerk of court, to be effective on September 30, the date Michelle ceased to receive assistance from the Department. At that time Donald was delinquent on his support obligation in the amount of $1200. The notification of termination of assignment authorized the clerk of court to pay current support payments to Michelle, but expressly stated that any payments toward the delinquency were to be paid directly to the Department. Between September 30, 1977, and November 30, 1978, Donald paid over $1200 in child support, which the clerk of court paid to Michelle as current child-support payments. In December 1978 Michelle executed a "Release of Child Support Judgment" acknowledging "as fully paid, satisfied and released child support judgment entered in this matter on the second day of August 9, 1974, up through and including the first day of December A.D., 1978." In a written pretrial stipulation, however, the parties stipulated that any release executed by Michelle purporting to release delinquencies owed to the Department was null and void.
On March 16, 1979, Donald brought a declaratory judgment action against the Department requesting the trial court to declare judgment that he was not liable to the Department for any of the $1200 delinquency. The case was submitted to the court on a written pretrial stipulation of the facts.
In his petition Donald contended that his child-support payments subsequent to the termination of the assignment applied to the oldest installments due, and he had thus paid in full the $1200 delinquency claimed by the Department. He also alleged that Michelle had executed a release of all support payments due to her through December 1, 1978.
The trial court held that Donald is not obligated to the Department in any amount for past-due child support. The court mentioned but did not rely on the release, stating:
Thus, the trial court limited the assignment to those installments that fell due while the assignment was in effect. It concluded that these installments were subsequently paid, and Broyles owed no obligation to the Department.
Before analyzing the correctness of the trial court's determination, we find it necessary to examine the nature and validity of the assignment, interpret its meaning, and determine its effect on the parties.
I. Validity of the assignment and its effect on Michelle. An assignment is a transfer to another of the whole of any property or right therein. 6A C.J.S. Assignments § 2 (1975). As a welfare recipient, Michelle was required by statute to assign her rights to all support payments provided for in the dissolution decree:
§ 598.34, The Code, as amended by 1975 Sess., 66th G.A., ch. 151, § 12 (effective Aug. 15, 1975).
A court-ordered child-support judgment becomes a lien when payment is due. See Slack v. Mullenix, 245 Iowa 1180, 1184-85, 66 N.W.2d 99 , 101-02 (1954); Whittier v. Whittier, 237 Iowa 655, 661, 23 N.W.2d 435, 440 (1946); § 598.22, The Code 1975. We have long recognized that a judgment may be assigned, see Edmonds v. Montgomery, 1 Iowa 143, 147 (1855), and this recognition extends to a future judgment, see Weire v. City of Davenport, 11 Iowa 49, 52-53 (1860). We conclude that Michelle was required to, and did in fact, execute a valid assignment of the support payments due under the dissolution decree.
An assignment ordinarily carries with it all rights, remedies, and benefits of the thing assigned. Kintzel v. Wheatland Mutual Insurance Association, 203 N.W.2d 799 , 806 (Iowa 1973); Mutual Surety Co. v. Bailey, 231 Iowa 1236, 1242, 3 N.W.2d 627, 630 (1942). The assignment was effective to transfer Michelle's rights in her support judgment to the Department; however, we must determine whether the assignment was limited to those payments that became due during the period of the assignment.
Donald, in his petition, maintained that the assignment and release thereof could only apply to any amounts that became due during the period of time Michelle was a recipient of welfare funds. The Department asserted in its answer that the assignment applied to payments accrued, current, and future, whether paid before or after termination of assistance. It claims further that the notification of termination of assignment clearly reserved to the Department any delinquencies that accrued pursuant to the assignment. Thus, the parties took differing positions as to the interpretation of the assignment and the notification of partial termination of assignment.
An assignment is a contract between the assignor and assignee. Rules of construction applicable to contracts thus apply to assignments. The basic rule in construing a written contract is that the intent of the parties controls. Iowa R.App.P. 14(f)(14). See also 6A C.J.S. Assignments § 43: "The creation and existence of an assignment is to be determined according to the intention of the parties and that intention is derived not only from the instruments executed by them, if any, but from the surrounding circumstances."
In construing an assignment, as in contract, when words are free from ambiguity, there is no occasion for interpretation. However, absent lucid and unambiguous language expressing the clear intent of the parties, it is the court's duty to give effect to the language of the entire contract *722 of assignment in accordance with commonly accepted and ordinary meaning. See Kinney v. Capitol-Strauss, Inc., 207 N.W.2d 574 , 576-77 (Iowa 1973); Gendler Stone Products Co. v. Laub, 179 N.W.2d 628 , 630 (Iowa 1970).
Although the individual provisions of the assignment may be ambiguous, when read in its entirety the assignment clearly manifests the intent of the assignor and assignee. Michelle assigned to the Department her right to support payments that had accrued on April 27, 1976, the effective date of the assignment, and current and future support payments "which come due during the period of my assistance, whether paid before or after termination of my assistance."
We believe that the notification of partial termination to the clerk of court, although signed only by the Department, also evinces the understanding of the parties to the assignment. It was addressed to the Scott County Clerk of Court and stated:
The termination notice thus expressly states that pursuant to the previous assignment the Department remains entitled to the deficiency. It authorizes the clerk to pay current support payments to Michelle, but states that any payments toward the delinquency are to be paid directly to the Department.
This method of treating current and delinquent support payments is consistent with 770 I.A.C. § 95.3 (1980) (effective Apr. 12, 1976), which provides:
Since this administrative rule was promulgated pursuant to, and deals with child-support recovery collections by the Department under, chapter 252B, The Code, it does not appear to be directly applicable to the present case. However, it defines the manner in which the Department treats current and delinquent support payments, and it is grounded upon sound public policy. Unlike the method of allocation the trial court held to be applicable, it does not discourage or prevent welfare recipients from benefits until all delinquencies have been paid.
Because the intent of the parties controls the interpretation of the meaning of an assignment, the understanding between Michelle and the Department is determinative of the manner in which payments are to be applied. We believe that the assignment and notice of termination, when viewed in light of the statutory law and administrative rule governing the Department and the totality of the circumstances, clearly indicate that the understanding between Michelle and the Department was that Michelle was to receive current support payments and all amounts in excess thereof were to be paid to the Department and applied against the delinquency. The assignment was thus intended to be effective until the delinquency incurred during the period Michelle received welfare assistance was fully paid.
*723 II. The effect of the assignment on the judgment debtor. In the valid assignment of a judgment the assignee assumes the rights, remedies, and benefits of the assignor. Mutual Surety Co. v. Bailey, 231 Iowa at 1242, 3 N.W.2d at 630; 49 C.J.S. Judgments § 527 (1947); 6A C.J.S. Assignments § 89. Notice of the assignment is not essential to the validity of the assignment. 6A C.J.S. Assignments § 64. However, a judgment debtor who, without notice of the assignment of a judgment, pays the assignor is an innocent party and is not liable to the assignee. McCarver v. Nealey, 1 Greene 360, 361-62 (Iowa 1848). Thus, if the debtor can show prejudice, lack of notice may constitute a defense in an action by an assignee. Spoor v. Q. & C. Co., 162 F.2d 529, 532 (7th Cir. 1947); 6A C.J.S. Assignments § 115.
Under the assignment the Department acquired Michelle's rights and remedies against Donald, the judgment debtor. We have already construed the assignment to be effective until all delinquencies are paid. Therefore, Donald cannot claim that the payments he made subsequent to the termination of assignment satisfied the delinquency claimed by the Department.
Although there is no evidence in the record when Donald received notice of the assignment, it is obvious that he had notice prior to filing suit. In any event, Donald has not shown that he was in any way prejudiced by lack of notice. He has not alleged or shown that he will be required to pay more support than was ordered in the dissolution decree. Although Donald did allege release and satisfaction by Michelle, he has failed to prove a valid release.
Ordinarily, the custodial parent may release or compromise a claim for past-due child-support payments, and such action constitutes a defense to enforcement proceedings. 27B C.J.S. Divorce § 321(5), at 652 (1959). The release of a judgment, however, must be supported by valuable consideration. 49 C.J.S. Judgments § 565; see Warman v. Hat Creek Ranch Co., 202 Iowa 198, 201, 207 N.W. 532, 533 (1926) (binding release exists when there is valid consideration); Stoutenberg v. Huisman, 93 Iowa 213, 216-17, 61 N.W. 917, 918 (1895) (partial payment must be accompanied by additional consideration). In State ex rel. Hansen v. McKay, 31 Or.App. 631, 571 P.2d 166 (1977), it was contended that a father who had paid only $10 child support had given valid consideration for the release of a $12,000 support judgment that had been assigned to the Public Welfare Division. There was no evidence that the father had received notice of the assignment. The Oregon Court of Appeals stated:
Id. at 637, 571 P.2d at 169.
The burden of proving that a judgment has been paid is on the judgment debtor. 49 C.J.S. Judgments § 559, at 1031. Donald has failed to meet his burden of proving that Michelle received valuable consideration in exchange for the release. The only evidence presented in the stipulation was that any release executed by Michelle "purporting to release delinquencies owed to the Department is null and void as to those delinquencies." The release executed by Michelle is thus invalid.
The trial court erred in holding that Donald is not liable to the Department for the claimed delinquency. We therefore reverse and remand for entry of judgment consistent with this opinion.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.
Some case metadata and case summaries were written with the help of AI, which can produce inaccuracies. You should read the full case before relying on it for legal research purposes.
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Home / Articles / Child Support Termination Procedures By State
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Child Support Termination Procedures By State
So which states require a motion and which states automatically stop child support upon emancipation? DadsDivorce.com researched state child support laws and compiled this comprehensive list of state-by-state child support termination procedures.
If you need assistance ending your child support obligation, please contact Cordell & Cordell child support lawyers .
Age of Emancipation In Your State
29 comments on “ child support termination procedures by state ”.
My daughter turned 18 in September. She has a daughter now and is supposedly being home schooled. How much longer am I going to have to pay child support in Tennessee?
Overhaul this pathetic corrupt system
I had child support order in Houston TX and I am now trying to sell my house in Comal county and the Title company says they need something saying I paid my child support that was in arrears. (I rec’d letter from Att Gen saying I no longer required to pay per withholding of income). But this is not enough for the title company. What do I need to do? By the way this all took place and was completed in 2010. Help!
Please help! I live in oregon i now have sole custody of my 9 year old daughter but she was living with her father prior. I have to still pay back child support to the father. I got sole custody because he was using drug and got arrested for child endagerment. I am trying to get the back support dropped. What paper work do i need to file to stop payment which the child support offuce is holding
My ex wife got custody of my son he turns 17 in September and I still have 2 years of child support to pay and my son refuses to live with me in the state of Colorado or my ex wife she also is in colorado, he took off to live with his girlfriend in Washington state, can my son be emansipated? He refuses to come back to Colorado, i need help cuz I am paying a lot of child support $866 Still and my ex wife gets that money, she told my son I Dont pay support.. What should I do?? Help??
once he moves out and you can prove it, you’re done paying. Call your attorney.
My ex wife got custody of my son he turns 17 in September and I still have 2 years of child support to pay and my son refuses to live with me or my ex wife he rather live with his girlfriend in Washington state, can my son be emansipated? I need help cuz I am paying a lot of child support $866 Still and my ex wife gets that money, she told my son I Dont pay support.. What should I do?? Help??
I live in Michigan and pay $1,000/mo for my two girls, and one recently turned 18 (and already graduated). It seems obvious that it should drop to $500/month, but apparently the FOC needs something in writing from both of us. Shockingly my ex won’t sign in the hopes I will keep paying the full amount. What options do I have? I’m also concerned that they may re-review my support even though our Divorce Decree a long time ago was supposed to be “non-negotiable”, and I paid a lot more up front in spousal support, for less in child support.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
I’m in DFW area of Texas, and in my case child support did NOT stop automatically. Based on the type of case we had, Obligor (that’s me) had to file a IWO terminate order to stop child support after my child graduated. OAG child support division was hit and miss…after about 4 calls with four different people, finally got a straight answer.
Also, if you go the DIY route like I did, when talking to court / OAG / district clerk, have to be clear you want to terminate because IWO order has been fulfilled. Otherwise you will be told to file a motion or petition which requires obligee’s notarized signature, which is not necessary of conditions of IWO have been met.
I live in CT so it looks like …”A Motion to Modify and Terminate Child Support must be filed with the court.” – what does this look like…meaning is this just paperwork or is it like a hearing where my ex-wife has to come and and we do new financial statements etc?
u can print a motion to dismiss both of u sign it have it notarized and file it with ur court
The support in Texas has not automatically stopped. Child is 18 and has graduated. We have had to spend hours at the freaking courthouse. The child hasn’t even been lived with the mother for over two years. Complete crap! Our daughters together are suffering financially because of the messed up court system. We pay for TWO CHILDREN one 22 and the other 18 and have 7 year old twins because they have made it such a pain. The mother had to sign off on the paperwork when she had submitted forms saying no arrears on prior withholding and payments were through the state. She is now evading constable to serve her costing us more money.
We already have car payments and insurance plus supporting these children in addition to paying the bimbo to not do it.
u might want to play nice to mom and get her to sign a motion to dismiss and that would stop it
Please help,,,,,,,, My son will be thirty this year has a collage degree….Since he was eighteen have have paid thru the courts almost 30,000.00 dollars……….his mother has agreed to sign papers stop payments????????????Do I need a lawyer or what should I do???The child support office has stop taking money out of my check but in July I have a 55.00dollar bill due for the child support off,an annual fee that I have always payed should I still pay it??????????
u just need to print a motion to dissmiss and u both sign it and file it in court and judge will sign it and it will stop
Family services of Missouri handled my child support. So I don’t see how petitioning a judge to terminate the support order is viable.
My daughter turned 21 on April 6th. FSM says I must still pay for the entire amount for the month of April.
Yet the laws covering this, state the obligations are over when the child reaches 21 unless otherwise ordered by a judge to continue or arrears are due. So why must I keep paying? Is this right? What Can I do to stop this?
They told me over the phone that any over payment will be automatically refunded to me, yet every father I have talked to says that isn’t correct, I’d have to sue in civil court to get any over payment back. I’d like to prevent having to do that.
My husband recieved a form from CSS completed by the mother of his children. It says “Terminated” on it. What does that mean?
need a form to file motion to terminated child support for LaSalle county in IL
I live in New York. I have a son who is 20 yrs old. He is working part-time & is in college? Can he be emancipated based on his income, though he is 20 yrs old?
In the state of Texas, would like to know my right and how can I go by terminating child support. My daughter has dropped out of school as of a year ago and is only 17 she also has moved out of mothers house and living with others for over 6 months now. What can I do legally to terminate without needing to have a lawyer and fees… Our case was private within the Greg County district clerks office not With the Texas State District.
u still have to file a motion to dissmiss in that county
Childsupport is HELL ON EARTH……………….Tony
emasculate you, I surprised they don’t cut the “NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT’s”, balls off and send them along with the payment..TONY
Children live with father for years mother agrees to sign off on court ordered child support that she has gotten for years. How do we go about stopping the child support order?
my husband is getting sued for child support and he signed divorce papers with the fact that he did sign over his rights and the court issued the fact he would not need to pay child support so can she take us back to court now
There is no emancipation in the state of MA I am a step mother that took very very good care of my stepson for 16 years. his mother and my husband and I had a great relationship, and he always had anything he ever needed. But due to his mother almost loosing her home, and at the age of 16 he came to us and asked if we would mind that he gets a part time job which was mainly on weekends so we accommodated his request. We have not spoken to him (maybe twice) since. During this period his mother in the midst of loosing her home, that was my husbands fault even though she was swamped with debt had her daughter living in her home with her partner. We became the bad guys “We never did anything for him”. Well she proceed to take my husband back to court for more child support. So her child support got raised (child is 18 at this point), my husband as NO right to know anything about what his son is doing (e.x attending school, working, etc…) but we continue to pay child support. On the way out of the court room the ex girlfriend (baby mama)had my husband a paper (note he has a witness with him a friend that attended court as support) it was a report that his son wrote for class and passed in stating that his father was nothing but a “Sperm Donor and a Check in the Mail”. And Thanks to the wisdom of the Commonwealth of Mass. That’s exactly what he is. Now he is 20 and we are still paying! For what we don’t know except he bought a puppy recently.
dropped out of school and pregnant My 15 ye old daughter is pregnant and dropped out of school is that right that I still pay child support I have another family to support and the state is on her side and wont listen to me what can I do in this situation
Child Support In February of 2012, when my son who turned 19 years old I petition the court to stop my child support which was granted. Now several months later, the mother has petition the court to have the order re-open to continue receiving child support. The state of Alabama only states to the age 19 and nothing at all stated concerning the child to still attending high school. Is this correct although the state does not even discuss it or have no guidelines concerning this issue. After researching the topic, states the judge can use his discretion on matters like this.
Father how can I get my Driver License back to me my son is 21 year old this year, he not in college and he not in the arm forces and the child support is still making me pay child support for another year, he does not live with her he live with her uncle, what can I do to pay off my child support to get my driver license back, I have call the child support to send me a payment book and they will not send it to me. Please I need to get a Attorney that will fight for me to get my license back I want to pay off my child support.
I have so many questions. Why review a law? Isn’t that called a constitutional challenge? What are we reviewing? Whether the law to terminate is constitutional? Are we reviewing whether this particular father should be exempt from the law to terminate? If the child’s mother wants child support for a thirty year old child, should not she be the petitioner, rather than the father, who has survived long enough for the law to terminate child support due to emancipation to apply? If paying through a state child support office, the office staff are happpy to enforce every other law related to child support, except the one to terminate? Why would there be tighter laws for a child support order that had been constantly monitored by the state, than one that had not? Why are 85% of people paying child support male? Isn’t that unconstitutional?
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Child Support Wage Assignments
(This may not be the same place you live)
What is a Wage Assignment?
A wage assignment is a special process that allows the court to order an employer to make direct payments to the custodial parent from the supporting parent’s wages. You can also directly apply to the court for a wage assignment. Remember that the notice of this action must be served on the paying parent’s employer.
The employer will deduct child support like any other deduction from the paying parent’s paycheck and send the money to the custodial parent. If the non-paying parent holds stable employment, this is a valuable tool for starting this process.
What Can Impact Wage Assignment?
What is the wage assignment duration, how does child support wage assignments function, how do courts enforce child support orders, when do i need to contact a lawyer.
If the non-custodial parent changes jobs, he must immediately notify the child support agency so the new employer can begin making the wage assignment payments. If the non-custodial parent becomes unemployed and receives unemployment compensation, the child support payment will usually be deducted from the unemployment benefits.
If the non-custodial parent is not receiving unemployment benefits, he is still mandated to make child support payments. However, it is recommended to report the loss of income to the court to ensure that the child support order adjusts accordingly.
A wage assignment is available only if the non-custodial parent is a salaried employee. If the non-custodial parent is self-employed or is otherwise not subject to wage withholding, he instead may be ordered to provide the child support payments directly to the child support agency.
If the non-custodial parent fails to make the required payments, the amount owed may be deducted from the non-custodial parent’s federal and state income tax refunds. Furthermore, liens may be placed on the non-custodial parent’s property, and the property may be sold to satisfy the child support owed.
In short, the non-custodial parent cannot escape the obligation to pay child support by moving to another state because all states must enforce child support against out-of-state non-custodial parents. Each state has its own form of interstate enforcement legislation, such as the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA), which allows for the enforcement of support orders across state lines more uniformly.
The wage assignment continues until the obligation to pay child support ends, whether there is a custody modification, the non-custodial parent passes away, or the child becomes emancipated. Emancipation happens when the child reaches the state’s age of majority, which is eighteen, according to the majority of states.
Emancipation may also occur if the child marries, enlists in the armed services, or leaves the care and control of the custodial parent. However, if the child returns to live with the custodial parent before reaching the age of majority, the obligation to pay child support usually resumes, and the non-custodial parent’s income will again be subject to a wage assignment.
After the court decides the amount of child or spousal support, the wage assignment informs the employer how much to deduct from each paycheck and where to send the payment. With a wage assignment, if the parent ordered to pay support is regularly employed, the employer will deduct the support payments directly from their paycheck.
Most support is paid this way, and federal, and state laws mandate it in almost all child support cases. Typically, it is the employer’s responsibility to withhold the wages if there is a wage assignment. If the parent has other wage assignments, child support is first deducted before other withholding orders. Spousal or partner support assignments come after child support wage assignments are in place.
Wage assignments are usually incurred for debts that have gone unpaid for a long time. Wage assignments can be split into two categories: voluntary and involuntary. Employees may sometimes choose a voluntary wage assignment to pay union dues or contribute to a retirement fund. Moreover, employees may even voluntarily opt into a wage assignment plan as a part of a payday loan repayment promise.
When a wage assignment is undertaken voluntarily or required by a court and served to an employer, it is considered part of an employer’s payroll procedure. The employee has to do nothing, as their paycheck is already decreased by the amount of the assignment and noted on their pay stub.
As child support is usually ordered as a monthly amount, the calculation is provided to the employer as to the proper amount to withhold from each paycheck based on whether the employee is paid on a weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or other basis to correspond to the monthly amount ordered.
For instance, if child support was ordered for $200 a month and the employee was paid weekly, the withholding order would direct the employer to take out $48.43 from each paycheck for child support. Once the employer removes the calculated amount from the parent’s paycheck, they send it to the Support Payment Clearinghouse. The payment is then accounted for and recorded by the Clearinghouse and is sent on to the custodial parent .
Generally, if the non-custodial parent starts a new job, they are responsible for giving the wage assignment to their new employer. They are responsible for notifying the Clerk of the Superior Court and Support Payment Clearinghouse of their new employer’s contact information within 10 days. An employer who fails, without a good cause, to adhere to the terms of a wage assignment is liable for the amount overdue.
The employer may be entitled to charge a small administrative fee for processing the required payments. Still, it is against the law for an employer to terminate an employee due to a court-ordered wage assignment for child support. A wage assignment is not mandated when the non-custodial parent is self-employed, not employed, or does not have a regular source of income. In those situations, they are responsible for making payments directly to the Support Payment Clearinghouse.
Judges enforce child support orders, usually with “income assignments.” When judges form child support orders, they order the paying parent’s employer to take the child support out of their wages and send it to the Department of Revenue (DOR/CSE) Child Support Enforcement Division.
The DOR then sends the child support order to you. As mentioned earlier, child support taken out of the wages is called an “income assignment” or “wage assignment.” The income assignment is one of the primary ways judges ensure that child support is paid on time. In some cases, parents fall behind in paying their child support.
In some situations, they disobey the child support order. When that happens, you may have to return to the court to enforce your child support order . Making sure the paying parent follows through with the child support order is considered “enforcing” the order.
Courts can enforce child support orders by holding the paying parent in contempt. DOR/CSE can enforce child support orders by:
- Collecting overdue child support;
- Levying your bank account;
- Charging interest and penalties;
- Increasing the amount withheld from your paycheck by 25%;
- Placing a lien on your real estate or personal property;
- Seizing your personal property;
- Suspending your license;
- Intercepting your tax refunds;
- Making it hard to get credit and;
- Filing a Complaint for Contempt.
If you do not receive the required child support payments or have failed to make the necessary payments. Both situations have legal remedies available, and you will need to seek a local child support attorney to determine your options within your jurisdiction.
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Mariam earned her J.D. from Minnesota Law School in 2017. She joined LegalMatch in late 2019. Prior to Law School, she spent time assisting various federal legislative offices in the state of Minnesota. During law school, she explored topics in family law and government policy work. Currently, interning for the Maryland General Assembly and working on issues in the city of Baltimore. She is also a stay-at-home mother and loves spending time with her children. In her spare time, she enjoys sketching, painting, and trying new cuisine recipes. Read More
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- Income Assignments 12 O.S. § 1171.3 & 56 O.S. § 240.2
- Mandatory Nature 43 O.S. § 115
- Changes to Income Assignments 43 O.S. § 117
An income assignment (I/A), or income withholding, is an enforcement remedy used to deduct current and/or past due support from the income of, or benefits due, an obligor. “Income” means any form of payment to an obligor regardless of the source (including, but not limited to, wages, salary, compensation as an independent contractor, worker’s compensation, disability, annuity and retirement benefits). “Delinquent” and “delinquency” mean any payment under an order for which support is due and remains unpaid.
The income assignment remedy is used whether an obligor is current or delinquent in his/her child support obligation. The required elements and steps to send an income withholding to an employer are listed below.
If the following elements are present, child support sends an income withholding order/notice to any payor of income for an obligor.
- An obligation to pay child support through an order of district or administrative court has been established
- Open child support case
- The obligor has known income from a payor of income
- The obligor’s name, social security number and family group number
- The name(s) of the child(ren) for whom support is ordered
- The custodian of the child(ren) or the name of obligee
- The name of the court issuing the child support order and the date of order
- The amount the obligor is court ordered to pay in current and/or past due child support
- The effective date of the income assignment
- Instructions to the payor of income regarding the amount to deduct based on individual pay schedules and the address to remit deductions
- The current child support has been modified or amended by a court order
- Child support amends/modifies the notice of income assignment to the new court ordered amount, sends a notice to payor of income and lists the effective date of the income assignment.
- The obligor’s court ordered child support and/or past due support obligation is terminated by a court order (child support terminates the notice of income assignment, sends notice to payor of income and lists the effective date of notice of income assignment termination)
- There is an inability to deliver the income withheld to the person entitled to the current and/or past due support and the court orders suspension of the notice of income assignment (child support notifies the payor of income to suspend the income assignment)
- Obligor proves beyond a reasonable doubt he/she is not the person who owes the child support
- Obligor shows the court the amount of current child support or past due child support is inaccurate and warrants modification of the notice of income assignment
- The payor of income shows the court the obligor is not entitled to any income, is not an employee/receiver of benefits or there is no income from which the payor of income may deduct the amounts in the income assignment
Military pay and child support, u.s. bureau of labor statistics area and wage web pages, the work number, cash till taps – alternative enforcement, how to determine va benefit amounts, pulling an income withholding order, comments or suggestions.
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Terminating Income Withholding for Child Support by Agreement
- Child Support & Medical Support
Learn about how to terminate income withholding including what you need from the court and the other party, if the Office of the Attorney General needs to be involved, if you need an agreement to terminate, and what to do if you do or do not have an agreement.
How do I terminate income withholding from Obligor’s employer if both parents agree?
If your case was processed by the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas (OAG), contact your regional Attorney General’s office to process the termination administratively. Use the Find Child Support Locations tool on the OAG's website to find your regional OAG's office.
If you handled your child support case privately — without the assistance of the Texas Attorney General’s office — contact the district clerk’s office in your county and ask how the clerk processes Requests to Terminate Income Withholding for Child Support.
Tip: This may also be called a Motion to Terminate Income Withholding.
Do I need a signed order for the clerk to issue a notice/order to terminate income withholding for child support by agreement?
It is likely — but may not be required in your county. Some clerk’s offices require a signed order by a judge indicating that income withholding is terminated before the clerk will send a termination of withholding order/notice to the employer of the obligor (the parent who pays child support).
Call your district clerk’s office to confirm what your court requires.
Do I need to file a Request to Terminate Income Withholding for Child Support with the clerk?
Maybe. Call your clerk to ask if this form is necessary for your situation. This request only applies to your situation if:
- Both the obligor and obligee (the parent who has received the child support) agree to terminate income withholding for child support
- The child becomes 18 years of age or graduates from high school, or
- The child’s disabilities of minority are removed by marriage, court order, or another operation of law, or
- The child dies, or
- The obligor initiated voluntary withholding.
Do I need to submit a proposed order to be signed by a judge to terminate income withholding by agreement?
Maybe. Call your local district clerk to find out if the judge needs to sign an order before the clerk can issue a notice/order to terminate withholding to the obligor’s employer. Use the Order to Employer to Terminate Withholding for Support as a proposed order to file with the court.
Will the child support office need to be involved to terminate income withholding by Agreement?
Maybe. Some clerks require proof or an accounting from the Child Support Office indicating that the child support obligation has terminated and that there are no arrears before the clerk will issue an Order/Notice to Terminate to the Obligor’s employer.
Is there a court fee to terminate income withholding for child support by agreement?
Yes. The Texas Family Code indicates the clerk may charge a reasonable filing fee not to exceed $15 to file a Request for Termination of Withholding Order. Texas Family Code 158.403(c) .
Call your district clerk’s office to see what fees will apply in your situation.
Should I talk with a lawyer to find out if I can request that child support withholding stop?
Yes! If possible, talk with a lawyer. You can hire a lawyer just to g ive you advice and review your forms, or r epresent you at a hearing. This is called limited scope representation , which is one way to make private attorneys more affordable. If you need help finding a lawyer, you can:
Our Legal Help Directory can help you locate a legal aid office, lawyer referral service, or self-help center in your area.
Check our Legal Events and Clinics page for free legal clinics in your area.
Use Ask a Question to chat online with a lawyer or law student.
What do I do if the other parent does not agree to stop child support withholding?
If the other parent does not agree to a joint request to stop child support withholding, then you may have to file a petition to terminate withholding for child support and go to court.
I need to change a custody, visitation, or support order (modification)..
Child Custody & Visitation
I need to respond to a modification case.
Related articles, how to stop child support withholding, changing a custody, visitation or child support order, child support, related forms, petition to terminate withholding for child support - guided form.
Record of Support Order
Form 1828A (ROS/App)
Income Withholding for Support
Order to employer to terminate withholding for support.
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Rules for the Termination of Child Support
Many parents wonder whether there are rules in place for the termination of child support obligations. For instance, can a parent stop paying child support if the other parent refuses to allow visitation? And what about situations where the child does not want to receive the parent's financial support and would prefer to be emancipated?
Get answers to these questions before you pursue the termination of child support orders for yourself or your child.
Quid Pro Quo and Terminating Child Support
On the surface, some parents feel that it's reasonable to withhold child support when visitations stop occurring on a regular basis. But this notion can cause you a lot of trouble in court. Why?
Because court-ordered child support obligations continue even when there's a problem with the relationship between the parent and the child or between the two parents. Therefore, you should not stop paying child support just because the child is no longer participating in regularly scheduled visits.
It's also important to know that the courts consider child support and visitation separately. If you have court-ordered visitation, and your ex is not cooperating with the order, you should contact the court or speak with your lawyer about your options. In many cases, steps can be taken to rectify the situation so that visits can resume.
Often, when a parent stops paying child support, it is because there is more going on behind the scenes. Has the parent lost their job? Is there a legitimate change in circumstances that warrants a formal child support modification?
Any parent who is having difficulty making regular child support payments should contact the court that issued the original order to discuss options. This is far preferable than risking the consequences of nonpayment, which can include losing your driver's license and even serving jail time.
Emancipation of Children
In rare instances, an older child may request emancipation if they no longer desire to have a relationship with a parent. If a child becomes emancipated, the court might formally relieve a non-custodial parent of child support obligations. However, whether the court grants emancipation will depend on several factors including:
- The Child's Age: An appropriate age will vary by state and by the court. Some courts may determine that 16 is an appropriate age, while another court might determine that 16 is too young to make such an important decision.
- The Child's Maturity Level: The court might consider a child's ability to clearly express their desire to be emancipated as well as the reasons for emancipation, as a sign of maturity. They may also look at factors such as whether or not the child is employed or a good student.
Prior to considering emancipation, the judge will interview the child. If the child does become emancipated, the non-custodial parent's child support obligations may be terminated as well. However, courts are typically reluctant to terminate support obligations for fear the state will later need to step in and provide financial support for the child.
It's also important to know that the courts frown upon any interference in a parent-child relationship. In determining whether to terminate child support obligations , the court will consider the best interests of the child and then determine whether both parents should be able to work together to support the child's needs and emotional well-being.
National Conference of State Legislatures. Termination of Child Support . 2020.
By Debrina Washington Debrina Washington is a New York-based family law attorney and writer, who runs her own virtual practice to assist single parents with legal issues.
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Texas Family Code 231.106 – Notice of Termination of Assignment
(a) On termination of support rights to the Title IV-D agency, the Title IV-D agency shall, after providing notice to the obligee and the obligor, send a notice of termination of assignment to the obligor or other payor, which may direct that all or a portion of the payments be made payable to the agency and to other persons who are entitled to receive the payments. (b) The Title IV-D agency shall send a copy of the notice of termination of assignment to the court ordering the support and to the child support registry, and on receipt of the notice the clerk of the court shall file the notice in the appropriate case file. The clerk may not require an order of the court to terminate the assignment and direct support payments to the person entitled to receive the payment.
Terms Used In Texas Family Code 231.106
- Person : includes corporation, organization, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, and any other legal entity. See Texas Government Code 311.005
Iowa Admin. Code r. 441-95.14 - Termination of services
- State Regulations
This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code sections 252B.4 , 252B.5 , and 252B.6 .
State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.