Law:Title 5. The Parent-child Relationship And The Suit Affecting The Parent-child Relationship. Subtitle B. Suits Affecting The Parent-child Relationship from Chapter 158. Withholding From Earnings For Child Support (Texas)

From Law Delta

Revision as of 21:04, 28 September 2011 by Admin (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Subtitle B. Suits Affecting The Parent-child Relationship

Contents

Chapter 158. Withholding From Earnings For Child Support

Subchapter A. Income Withholding Required; General Provisions

Section  158.001.  Income Withholding; General Rule.

In a proceeding in which periodic payments of child support are ordered, modified, or enforced, the court or the Title IV-D agency shall order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor as provided by this chapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.002.  Suspension Of Income Withholding.

Except in a Title IV-D case, the court may provide, for good cause shown or on agreement of the parties, that the order withholding income need not be issued or delivered to an employer until:

(1)  the obligor has been in arrears for an amount due for more than 30 days;

(2)  the amount of the arrearages is an amount equal to or greater than the amount due for a one-month period; or

(3)  any other violation of the child support order has occurred.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 35, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.003.  Withholding For Arrearages In Addition To Current Support.

(a) In addition to income withheld for the current support of a child, income shall be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor to be applied toward the liquidation of any child support arrearages, including accrued interest as provided in Chapter 157.

(b)  The additional amount to be withheld for arrearages shall be an amount sufficient to discharge those arrearages in not more than two years or an additional 20 percent added to the amount of the current monthly support order, whichever amount will result in the arrearages being discharged in the least amount of time.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 21, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.004.  Withholding For Arrearages When No Current Support Is Due.

If current support is no longer owed, the court or the Title IV-D agency shall order that income be withheld for arrearages, including accrued interest as provided in Chapter 157, in an amount sufficient to discharge those arrearages in not more than two years.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.005.  Withholding To Satisfy Judgment For Arrearages.

In rendering a cumulative judgment for arrearages, the court shall order that a reasonable amount of income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor to be applied toward the satisfaction of the judgment.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  158.0051.  Order For Withholding For Costs And Fees.

(a) In addition to an order for income to be withheld for child support, including child support and child support arrearages, the court may render an order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor to be applied towards the satisfaction of any ordered attorney's fees and costs resulting from an action to enforce child support under this title.

(b)  An order rendered under this section is subordinate to an order or writ of withholding for child support under this chapter and is subject to the maximum amount allowed to be withheld under Section 158.009.

(c)  The court shall order that amounts withheld for fees and costs under this section be remitted directly to the person entitled to the ordered attorney's fees or costs or be paid through a local registry for disbursement to that person.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 35, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.006.  Income Withholding In Title Iv-d Suits.

In a Title IV-D case, the court or the Title IV-D agency shall order that income be withheld from the disposable earnings of the obligor and may not suspend, stay, or delay issuance of the order or of a judicial or administrative writ of withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 36, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.007.  Extension Of Repayment Schedule By Court Or Title Iv-d Agency; Unreasonable Hardship.

If the court or the Title IV-D agency finds that the schedule for discharging arrearages would cause the obligor, the obligor's family, or children for whom support is due from the obligor to suffer unreasonable hardship, the court or agency may extend the payment period for a reasonable length of time.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 22, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.008.  Priority Of Withholding.

An order or writ of withholding has priority over any garnishment, attachment, execution, or other assignment or order affecting disposable earnings.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  158.009.  Maximum Amount Withheld From Earnings.

An order or writ of withholding shall direct that any employer of the obligor withhold from the obligor's disposable earnings the amount specified up to a maximum amount of 50 percent of the obligor's disposable earnings.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 37, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.010.  Order Or Writ Binding On Employer Doing Business In State.

An order or writ of withholding issued under this chapter and delivered to an employer doing business in this state is binding on the employer without regard to whether the obligor resides or works outside this state.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.011.  Voluntary Withholding By Obligor.

(a) An obligor may file with the clerk of the court a notarized or acknowledged request signed by the obligor and the obligee for the issuance and delivery to the obligor's employer of a writ of withholding. A notarized or acknowledged request may be filed under this section regardless of whether a writ or order has been served on any party or of the existence or amount of an arrearage.

(b)  On receipt of a request under this section, the clerk shall issue and deliver a writ of withholding in the manner provided by this chapter.

(c)  An employer that receives a writ of withholding issued under this section may request a hearing in the same manner and according to the same terms provided by Section 158.205.

(d)  An obligor whose employer receives a writ of withholding issued under this section may request a hearing in the manner provided by Section 158.309.

(e)  An obligee may contest a writ of withholding issued under this section by requesting, not later than the 180th day after the date on which the obligee discovers that the writ has been issued, a hearing in the manner provided by Section 158.309.

(f)  A writ of withholding under this section may not reduce the total amount of child support, including arrearages, owed by the obligor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 55, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 39, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter B. Procedure

Section  158.101.  Applicability Of Procedure.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the procedure for a motion for enforcement of child support as provided in Chapter 157 applies to an action for income withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  158.102.  Time Limitations.

An order or writ for income withholding under this chapter may be issued until all current support and child support arrearages, interest, and any applicable fees and costs, including ordered attorney's fees and court costs, have been paid.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 40, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.103.  Contents Of Order Or Writ Of Withholding. An

order of withholding or writ of withholding issued under this chapter must contain the information required by the forms prescribed by the Title IV-D agency under Section 158.106.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 41, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 36, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.104.  Request For Issuance Of Order Or Judicial Writ Of Withholding.

A request for issuance of an order or judicial writ of withholding may be filed with the clerk of the court by the prosecuting attorney, the Title IV-D agency, the friend of the court, a domestic relations office, the obligor, the obligee, or an attorney representing the obligee or obligor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 23, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.105.  Issuance And Delivery Of Order Or Judicial Writ Of Withholding.

(a) On filing a request for issuance of an order or judicial writ of withholding, the clerk of the court shall cause a certified copy of the order or writ to be delivered to the obligor's current employer or to any subsequent employer of the obligor.

(b)  The clerk shall issue and deliver the certified copy of the order or judicial writ not later than the fourth working day after the date the order is signed or the request is filed, whichever is later.

(c)  An order or judicial writ of withholding shall be delivered to the employer by first class mail or, if requested, by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, by electronic transmission,  including electronic mail or facsimile transmission, or by service of citation to:

(1)  the person authorized to receive service of process for the employer in civil cases generally;  or

(2)  a person designated by the employer, by written notice to the clerk, to receive orders or writs of withholding.

(d)  The clerk may deliver an order or judicial writ of withholding under Subsection (c) by electronic mail if the employer has an electronic mail address or by facsimile transmission if the employer is capable of receiving documents transmitted in that manner.  If delivery is accomplished by electronic mail, the clerk must request acknowledgment of receipt from the employer or use an electronic mail system with a read receipt capability.  If delivery is accomplished by facsimile transmission, the clerk's facsimile machine must create a delivery confirmation report.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 24, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 37, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1113, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  158.106.  Forms For Income Withholding.

(a) The Title IV-D agency shall prescribe forms as required by federal law in a standard format entitled order or notice to withhold income for child support.

(b)  The Title IV-D agency shall make the appropriate forms available to obligors, obligees, domestic relations offices, friends of the court, and private attorneys.

(c)  The Title IV-D agency may prescribe additional forms for the efficient collection of child support and to promote the administration of justice for all parties.

(d)  The forms prescribed by the Title IV-D agency under this section may be used to request voluntary withholding under Section 158.011.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 42, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter C. Rights And Duties Of Employer

Section  158.201.  Order Or Writ Binding On Employer.

(a) An employer required to withhold income from earnings is not entitled to notice of the proceedings before the order is rendered or writ of withholding is issued.

(b)  An order or writ of withholding is binding on an employer regardless of whether the employer is specifically named in the order or writ.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 43, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.202.  Effective Date Of And Duration Of Withholding.

An employer shall begin to withhold income in accordance with an order or writ of withholding not later than the first pay period following the date on which the order or writ was delivered to the employer and shall continue to withhold income as required by the order or writ as long as the obligor is employed by the employer.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 44, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.203.  Remitting Withheld Payments.

(a) The employer shall remit the amount to be withheld to the person or office named in the order or writ on each pay date. The payment must include the date on which the withholding occurred.

(b)  An employer with 250 or more employees shall remit a payment required under this section by electronic funds transfer or electronic data interchange not later than the second business day after the pay date.

(b-1)  An employer with fewer than 250 employees may remit a payment required under this section by electronic funds transfer or electronic data interchange.  A payment remitted by the employer electronically must be remitted not later than the date specified by Subsection (b).

(c)  The employer shall include with each payment transmitted:

(1)  the number assigned by the Title IV-D agency, if available, and the county identification number, if available;

(2)  the name of the county or the county's federal information processing standard code;

(3)  the cause number of the suit under which withholding is required;

(4)  the payor's name and social security number; and

(5)  the payee's name and, if available, social security number, unless the payment is transmitted by electronic funds transfer.

(d)  In a case in which an obligor's income is subject to withholding, the employer shall remit the payment of child support directly to a local registry, the Title IV-D agency, or to the state disbursement unit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 702, Sec. 8, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 767, Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  158.204.  Employer May Deduct Fee From Earnings.

An employer may deduct an administrative fee of not more than $10 each month from the obligor's disposable earnings in addition to the amount to be withheld as child support.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 859, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.205.  Hearing Requested By Employer.

(a) Not later than the 20th day after the date an order or writ of withholding is delivered, the employer may, as appropriate, file a motion with the court or file a request with the Title IV-D agency for a hearing on the applicability of the order or writ to the employer. The Title IV-D agency by rule shall establish procedures for an agency hearing under this section.

(b)  The hearing under this section shall be held not later than the 15th day after the date the motion or request was made.

(c)  An order or writ of withholding remains binding and payments shall continue to be made pending further order of the court or, in the case of an administrative writ, action of the Title IV-D agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 45, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.206.  Liability And Obligation Of Employer; Workers' Compensation Claims.

(a) An employer receiving an order or a writ of withholding under this chapter, including an order or writ directing that health insurance be provided to a child, who complies with the order or writ is not liable to the obligor for the amount of income withheld and paid as required by the order or writ.

(b)  An employer receiving an order or writ of withholding who does not comply with the order or writ is liable:

(1)  to the obligee for the amount not paid in compliance with the order or writ, including the amount the obligor is required to pay for health insurance under Chapter 154;

(2)  to the obligor for:

(A)  the amount withheld and not paid as required by the order or writ; and

(B)  an amount equal to the interest that accrues under Section 157.265 on the amount withheld and not paid; and

(3)  for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

(c)  If an obligor has filed a claim for workers' compensation, the obligor's employer shall send a copy of the income withholding order or writ to the insurance carrier with whom the claim has been filed in order to continue the ordered withholding of income.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 341, Sec. 4.07, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 46, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 859, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1580, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 39, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.207.  Employer Receiving More Than One Order Or Writ.

(a) An employer receiving two or more orders or writs for one obligor shall comply with each order or writ to the extent possible.

(b)  If the total amount due under the orders or writs exceeds the maximum amount allowed to be withheld under Section 158.009, the employer shall pay an equal amount towards the current support in each order or writ until the employer has complied fully with each current support obligation and, thereafter, equal amounts on the arrearages until the employer has complied with each order or writ, or until the maximum total amount of allowed withholding is reached, whichever occurs first.

(c)  An employer who receives more than one order or writ of withholding that combines withholding for child support and spousal maintenance as provided by Section 8.101 shall withhold income and pay the amount withheld in accordance with Section 8.207.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 47, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.208.  Employer May Combine Amounts Withheld.

An employer required to withhold from more than one obligor may combine the amounts withheld and make a single payment to each agency designated if the employer separately identifies the amount of the payment that is attributable to each obligor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  158.209.  Employer's Penalty For Discriminatory Hiring Or Discharge.

(a) An employer may not use an order or writ of withholding as grounds in whole or part for the termination of employment or for any other disciplinary action against an employee.

(b)  An employer may not refuse to hire an employee because of an order or writ of withholding.

(c)  If an employer intentionally discharges an employee in violation of this section, the employer continues to be liable to the employee for current wages and other benefits and for reasonable attorney's fees and court costs incurred in enforcing the employee's rights as provided in this section.

(d)  An action under this section may be brought by the employee, a friend of the court, the domestic relations office, or the Title IV-D agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 48, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.210.  Fine For Noncompliance.

(a) In addition to the civil remedies provided by this subchapter or any other remedy provided by law, an employer who knowingly violates the provisions of this chapter may be subject to a fine not to exceed $200 for each occurrence in which the employer fails to:

(1)  withhold income for child support as instructed in an order or writ issued under this chapter; or

(2)  remit withheld income within the time required by Section 158.203 to the payee identified in the order or writ or to the state disbursement unit.

(b)  A fine recovered under this section shall be paid to the county in which the obligee resides and shall be used by the county to improve child support services.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 420, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.211.  Notice Of Termination Of Employment And Of New Employment.

(a) If an obligor terminates employment with an employer who has been withholding income, both the obligor and the employer shall notify the court or the Title IV-D agency and the obligee of that fact not later than the seventh day after the date employment terminated and shall provide the obligor's last known address and the name and address of the obligor's new employer, if known.

(b)  The obligor has a continuing duty to inform any subsequent employer of the order or writ of withholding after obtaining employment.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.212.  Improper Payment.

An employer who remits a payment to an incorrect office or person shall remit the payment to the agency or person identified in the order of withholding not later than the second business day after the date the employer receives the returned payment.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.213.  Withholding From Workers' Compensation Benefits.

(a) An insurance carrier that receives an order or writ of withholding under Section 158.206 for workers' compensation benefits payable to an obligor shall withhold an amount not to exceed the maximum amount allowed to be withheld from income under Section 158.009 regardless of whether the benefits payable to the obligor for lost income are paid as lump sum amounts or as periodic payments.

(b)  An insurance carrier subject to this section shall send the amount withheld for child support to the place of payment designated in the order or writ of withholding.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 610, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section 158.214.  Withholding From Severance Pay.

(a) In this section, "severance pay" means income paid on termination of employment in addition to the employee's usual earnings from the employer at the time of termination.

(b)  An employer receiving an order or writ of withholding under this chapter shall withhold from any severance pay owed an obligor an amount equal to the amount the employer would have withheld under the order or writ if the severance pay had been paid as the obligor's usual earnings as a current employee.

(c)  The total amount that may be withheld under this section is subject to the maximum amount allowed to be withheld under Section 158.009.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 33, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 158.215.  Withholding From Lump-sum Payments.

(a) In this section, "lump-sum payment" means income in the form of a bonus or an amount paid in lieu of vacation or other leave time.  The term does not include an employee's usual earnings or an amount paid as severance pay on termination of employment.

(b)  This section applies only to an employer who receives an administrative writ of withholding in a Title IV-D case.

(c)  An employer to whom this section applies may not make a lump-sum payment to the obligor in the amount of $500 or more without first notifying the Title IV-D agency to determine whether all or a portion of the payment should be applied to child support arrearages owed by the obligor.

(d)  After notifying the Title IV-D agency in compliance with Subsection (c), the employer may not make the lump-sum payment before the earlier of:

(1)  the 10th day after the date on which the employer notified the Title IV-D agency; or

(2)  the date on which the employer receives authorization from the Title IV-D agency to make the payment.

(e)  If the employer receives a timely authorization from the Title IV-D agency under Subsection (d)(2), the employer may make the payment only in accordance with the terms of that authorization.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 34, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 767, Sec. 20, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter D. Judicial Writ Of Withholding Issued By Clerk

Section  158.301.  Notice Of Application For Judicial Writ Of Withholding; Filing.

(a) A notice of application for judicial writ of withholding may be filed if:

(1)  a delinquency occurs in child support payments in an amount equal to or greater than the total support due for one month; or

(2)  income withholding was not ordered at the time child support was ordered.

(b)  The notice of application for judicial writ of withholding may be filed in the court of continuing jurisdiction by:

(1)  the Title IV-D agency;

(2)  the attorney representing the local domestic relations office;

(3)  the attorney appointed a friend of the court as provided in Chapter 202;

(4)  the obligor or obligee; or

(5)  a private attorney representing the obligor or obligee.

(c)  The Title IV-D agency may in a Title IV-D case file a notice of application for judicial writ of withholding on request of the obligor or obligee.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 57, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 50, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.302.  Contents Of Notice Of Application For Judicial Writ Of Withholding.

The notice of application for judicial writ of withholding shall be verified and:

(1)  state the amount of monthly support due, including medical support, the amount of arrearages or anticipated arrearages, including accrued interest, and the amount of wages that will be withheld in accordance with a judicial writ of withholding;

(2)  state that the withholding applies to each current or subsequent employer or period of employment;

(3)  state that if the obligor does not contest the withholding within 10 days after the date of receipt of the notice, the obligor's employer will be notified to begin the withholding;

(4)  describe the procedures for contesting the issuance and delivery of a writ of withholding;

(5)  state that if the obligor contests the withholding, the obligor will be afforded an opportunity for a hearing by the court not later than the 30th day after the date of receipt of the notice of contest;

(6)  state that the sole ground for successfully contesting the issuance of a writ of withholding is a dispute concerning the identity of the obligor or the existence or amount of the arrearages, including accrued interest;

(7)  describe the actions that may be taken if the obligor contests the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding, including the procedures for suspending issuance of a writ of withholding; and

(8)  include with the notice a suggested form for the motion to stay issuance and delivery of the judicial writ of withholding that the obligor may file with the clerk of the appropriate court.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 51, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.303.  Interstate Request For Income Withholding.

(a) The registration of a foreign support order as provided in Chapter 159 is sufficient for the filing of a notice of application for judicial writ of withholding.

(b)  The notice shall be filed with the clerk of the court having venue as provided in Chapter 159.

(c)  Notice of application for judicial writ of withholding may be delivered to the obligor at the same time that an order is filed for registration under Chapter 159.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 58, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 52, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.304.  Additional Arrearages.

If the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding states that the obligor has repeatedly failed to pay support in accordance with the underlying support order, the judicial writ may include arrearages that accrue between the filing of the notice and the date of the hearing or the issuance of a judicial writ of withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 53, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.306.  Delivery Of Notice Of Application For Judicial Writ Of Withholding; Time Of Delivery.

(a) A notice of application for judicial writ of withholding may be delivered to the obligor by:

(1)  hand delivery by a person designated by the Title IV-D agency or local domestic relations office;

(2)  first-class or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the obligor's last known address or place of employment; or

(3)  by service of citation as in civil cases generally.

(b)  If the notice is delivered by mailing or hand delivery, the party who filed the notice shall file with the court a certificate stating the name, address, and date on which the mailing or hand delivery was made.

(c)  Notice is considered to have been received by the obligor:

(1)  if hand delivered, on the date of delivery;

(2)  if mailed by certified mail, on the date of receipt;

(3)  if mailed by first-class mail, on the 10th day after the date the notice was mailed; or

(4)  if delivered by service of citation, on the date of service.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 54, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.307.  Motion To Stay Issuance Of Writ Of Withholding.

(a) The obligor may stay issuance of a judicial writ of withholding by filing a motion to stay with the clerk of court not later than the 10th day after the date the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding was received.

(b)  The grounds for filing a motion to stay issuance are limited to a dispute concerning the identity of the obligor or the existence or the amount of the arrearages.

(c)  The obligor shall verify that statements of fact in the motion to stay issuance of the writ are true and correct.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 55, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.308.  Effect Of Filing Motion To Stay.

The filing of a motion to stay by an obligor in the manner provided by Section 158.307 prohibits the clerk of court from delivering the judicial writ of withholding to any employer of the obligor before a hearing is held.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 56, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.309.  Hearing On Motion To Stay.

(a) If a motion to stay is filed in the manner provided by Section 158.307, the court shall set a hearing on the motion and the clerk of court shall notify the obligor, obligee, or their authorized representatives, and the party who filed the application for judicial writ of withholding of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(b)  The court shall hold a hearing on the motion to stay not later than the 30th day after the date the motion was filed, except that a hearing may be held later than the 30th day after filing if both the obligor and obligee agree and waive the right to have the motion heard within 30 days.

(c)  Upon hearing, the court shall:

(1)  render an order for income withholding that includes a determination of the amount of child support arrearages, including medical support and interest; or

(2)  grant the motion to stay.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 59, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 57, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.310.  Special Exceptions.

(a) A defect in a notice of application for judicial writ of withholding is waived unless the respondent specially excepts in writing and cites with particularity the alleged defect, obscurity, or other ambiguity in the notice.

(b)  A special exception under this section must be heard by the court before hearing the motion to stay issuance.

(c)  If the court sustains an exception, the court shall provide the party filing the notice an opportunity to refile and the court shall continue the hearing to a date certain without the requirement of additional service.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 58, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.311.  Arrearages.

(a) Payment of arrearages after receipt of notice of application for judicial writ of withholding may not be the sole basis for the court to refuse to order withholding.

(b)  The court shall order that a reasonable amount of income be withheld to be applied toward the liquidation of arrearages, even though a judgment confirming arrearages has been rendered against the obligor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 59, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.312.  Request For Issuance And Delivery Of Writ Of Withholding.

(a) If a notice of application for judicial writ of withholding is delivered and a motion to stay is not filed within the time limits provided by Section 158.307, the party who filed the notice shall file with the clerk of the court a request for issuance of the writ of withholding stating the amount of current support, including medical support, the amount of arrearages, and the amount to be withheld from the obligor's income.

(b)  The request for issuance may not be filed before the 11th day after the date of receipt of the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding by the obligor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 60, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 30, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  158.313.  Issuance And Delivery Of Writ Of Withholding.

(a) On the filing of a request for issuance of a writ of withholding, the clerk of the court shall issue the writ.

(b)  The writ shall be delivered as provided by Subchapter B.

(c)  The clerk shall issue and mail the writ not later than the second working day after the date the request is filed.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  158.314.  Contents Of Writ Of Withholding.

The judicial writ of income withholding issued by the clerk must direct that the employer or a subsequent employer withhold from the obligor's disposable income for current child support, including medical support, and child support arrearages an amount that is consistent with the provisions of this chapter regarding orders of withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 61, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.315.  Extension Of Repayment Schedule By Party; Unreasonable Hardship.

If the party who filed the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding finds that the schedule for repaying arrearages would cause the obligor, the obligor's family, or the children for whom the support is due from the obligor to suffer unreasonable hardship, the party may extend the payment period in the writ.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 62, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.316.  Payment Of Amount To Be Withheld.

The amount to be withheld shall be paid to the person or office named in the writ on each pay date and shall include with the payment the date on which the withholding occurred.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  158.317.  Failure To Receive Notice Of Application For Judicial Writ Of Withholding.

(a) Not later than the 30th day after the date of the first pay period following the date of delivery of the writ of withholding to the obligor's employer, the obligor may file an affidavit with the court that a motion to stay was not timely filed because the notice of application for judicial writ of withholding was not received by the obligor and that grounds exist for a motion to stay.

(b)  Concurrently with the filing of the affidavit, the obligor may file a motion to withdraw the writ of withholding and request a hearing on the applicability of the writ.

(c)  Income withholding may not be interrupted until after the hearing at which the court renders an order denying or modifying withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 63, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.319.  Issuance And Delivery Of Judicial Writ Of Withholding To Subsequent Employer.

(a) After the issuance of a judicial writ of withholding by the clerk, a party authorized to file a notice of application for judicial writ of withholding under this subchapter may issue the judicial writ of withholding to a subsequent employer of the obligor by delivering to the employer by certified mail a copy of the writ.

(b)  The judicial writ of withholding must include the name, address, and signature of the party and clearly indicate that the writ is being issued to a subsequent employer.

(c)  The party shall file a copy of the judicial writ of withholding with the clerk not later than the third working day following delivery of the writ to the subsequent employer. The party shall pay the clerk a fee of $15 at the time the copy of the writ is filed.

(d)  The party shall file the postal return receipt from the delivery to the subsequent employer not later than the third working day after the party receives the receipt.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 60, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 64, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Subchapter E. Modification, Reduction, Or Termination Of Withholding

Section  158.401.  Modifications To Or Termination Of Withholding By Title Iv-d Agency.

(a) The Title IV-D agency shall establish procedures for the reduction in the amount of or termination of withholding from income on the liquidation of an arrearages or the termination of the obligation of support in Title IV-D cases. The procedures shall provide that the payment of overdue support may not be used as the sole basis for terminating withholding.

(b)  At the request of the Title IV-D agency, the clerk of the court shall issue a judicial writ of withholding to the obligor's employer reflecting any modification or changes in the amount to be withheld or the termination of withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 65, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.402.  Agreement By Parties Regarding Amount Or Duration Of Withholding.

(a) An obligor and obligee may agree on a reduction in or termination of income withholding for child support on the occurrence of one of the following contingencies stated in the order:

(1)  the child becomes 18 years of age or is graduated from high school, whichever is later;

(2)  the child's disabilities of minority are removed by marriage, court order, or other operation of law; or

(3)  the child dies.

(b)  The obligor and obligee may file a notarized or acknowledged request with the clerk of the court under Section 158.011 for a revised judicial writ of withholding, including the termination of withholding.

(c)  The clerk shall issue and deliver to an employer of the obligor a judicial writ of withholding that reflects the agreed revision or termination of withholding.

(d)  An agreement by the parties under this section does not modify the terms of a support order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 61, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 66, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  158.403.  Modifications To Or Termination Of Withholding In Voluntary Withholding Cases.

(a) If an obligor initiates voluntary withholding under Section 158.011, the obligee or an agency providing child support services may file with the clerk of the court a notarized request signed by the obligor and the obligee or agency, as appropriate, for the issuance and delivery to the obligor of a:

(1)  modified writ of withholding that reduces the amount of withholding; or

(2)  notice of termination of withholding.

(b)  On receipt of a request under this section, the clerk shall issue and deliver a modified writ of withholding or notice of termination in the manner provided by Section 158.402.

(c)  The clerk may charge a reasonable fee not to exceed $15 for filing the request.

(d)  An obligee may contest a modified writ of withholding or notice of termination issued under this section by requesting a hearing in the manner provided by Section 158.309 not later than the 180th day after the date the obligee discovers that the writ or notice has been issued.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 61, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  158.404.  Delivery Of Order Of Reduction Or Termination Of Withholding.

If a court has rendered an order that reduces the amount of child support to be withheld or terminates withholding for child support, any person or governmental entity may deliver to the employer a certified copy of the order without the requirement that the clerk of the court deliver the order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 158.402 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 61, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  158.405.  Liability Of Employers.

The provisions of this chapter regarding the liability of employers for withholding apply to an order that reduces or terminates withholding.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Renumbered from Sec. 158.403 by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 61, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Subchapter F. Administrative Writ Of Withholding

Section 158.501.  Issuance Of Administrative Writ Of Withholding.

(a) The Title IV-D agency may initiate income withholding by issuing an administrative writ of withholding for the enforcement of an existing order as authorized by this subchapter.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), the Title IV-D agency is the only entity that may issue an administrative writ under this subchapter.

(c)  The Title IV-D agency may use the procedures authorized by this subchapter to enforce a support order rendered by a tribunal of another state regardless of whether the order has been registered under Chapter 159.

(d)  A domestic relations office may issue an administrative writ of withholding under this chapter in a proceeding in which the office is providing child support enforcement services.  A reference in this code to the Title IV-D agency that relates to an administrative writ includes a domestic relations office, except that the writ must be in the form prescribed by the Title IV-D agency under Section 158.504.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 40, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 199, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 199, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  158.502.  When Administrative Writ Of Withholding May Be Issued.

(a) An administrative writ of withholding under this subchapter may be issued by the Title IV-D agency at any time until all current support, including medical support, and child support arrearages, and Title IV-D service fees authorized under Section 231.103 for which the obligor is responsible, have been paid.  The writ issued under this subsection may be based on an obligation in more than one support order.

(b)  The Title IV-D agency may issue an administrative writ of withholding that directs that an amount be withheld for an arrearage or adjusts the amount to be withheld for an arrearage. An administrative writ issued under this subsection may be contested as provided by Section 158.506.

(c)  The Title IV-D agency may issue an administrative writ of withholding as a reissuance of an existing withholding order on file with the court of continuing jurisdiction or a tribunal of another state. The administrative writ under this subsection is not subject to the contest provisions of Sections 158.505(a)(2) and 158.506.

(d)  The Title IV-D agency may issue an administrative writ of withholding to direct child support payments to the state disbursement unit of another state.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 41, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1247, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 35, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  158.503.  Delivery Of Administrative Writ To Employer; Filing With Court.

(a) An administrative writ of withholding issued under this subchapter may be delivered to an obligor, obligee, and employer by mail or by electronic transmission.

(b)  Not later than the third business day after the date of delivery of the administrative writ of withholding to an employer, the Title IV-D agency shall file a copy of the writ, together with a signed certificate of service, in the court of continuing jurisdiction. The certificate of service may be signed electronically. This subsection does not apply to the enforcement under Section 158.501(c) of a support order rendered by a tribunal of another state.

(c)  The copy of the administrative writ of withholding filed with the clerk of court must include:

(1)  the name, address, and signature of the authorized attorney or individual that issued the writ;

(2)  the name and address of the employer served with the writ; and

(3)  a true copy of the information provided to the employer.

(d)  The clerk of the court may charge a reasonable fee not to exceed $15 for filing an administrative writ under this section.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 116, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 42, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.504.  Contents Of Administrative Writ Of Withholding.

(a) The administrative writ of withholding must be in the form prescribed by the Title IV-D agency as required by this chapter and in a standard format authorized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

(b)  An administrative writ of withholding issued under this subchapter may contain only the information that is necessary for the employer to withhold income for child support and medical support and shall specify the place where the withheld income is to be paid.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 33, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 43, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.505.  Notice To Obligor.

(a) On issuance of an administrative writ of withholding, the Title IV-D agency shall send the obligor:

(1)  notice that the withholding has commenced, including, if the writ is issued as provided by Section 158.502(b), the amount of the arrearages, including accrued interest;

(2)  except as provided by Section 158.502(c), notice of the procedures to follow if the obligor desires to contest withholding on the grounds that the identity of the obligor or the existence or amount of arrearages is incorrect; and

(3)  a copy of the administrative writ, including the information concerning income withholding provided to the employer.

(b)  The notice required under this section may be sent to the obligor by:

(1)  personal delivery by a person designated by the Title IV-D agency;

(2)  first-class mail or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the obligor's last known address; or

(3)  service of citation as in civil cases generally.

(c)  Repealed by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 81, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 34, 81, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1023, Sec. 44, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  158.506.  Contest By Obligor To Administrative Writ Of Withholding.

(a) Except as provided by Section 158.502(c), an obligor receiving the notice under Section 158.505 may request a review by the Title IV-D agency to resolve any issue in dispute regarding the identity of the obligor or the existence or amount of arrearages. The Title IV-D agency shall provide an opportunity for a review, by telephonic conference or in person, as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

(b)  After a review under this section, the Title IV-D agency may issue a new administrative writ of withholding to the employer, including a writ modifying the amount to be withheld or terminating withholding.

(c)  If a review under this section fails to resolve any issue in dispute, the obligor may file a motion with the court to withdraw the administrative writ of withholding and request a hearing with the court not later than the 30th day after receiving notice of the agency's determination.  Income withholding may not be interrupted pending a hearing by the court.

(d)  If an administrative writ of withholding issued under this subchapter is based on an order of a tribunal of another state that has not been registered under Chapter 159, the obligor may file a motion with an appropriate court in accordance with Subsection (c).

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 556, Sec. 35, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 36, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 158.507.  Administrative Writ Terminating Withholding.

An administrative writ to terminate withholding may be issued and delivered to an employer by the Title IV-D agency when all current support, including medical support, and child support arrearages, and Title IV-D service fees authorized under Section 231.103 for which the obligor is responsible, have been paid.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 911, Sec. 67, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 37, eff. September 1, 2007.


Personal tools
Laws
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox