Administrative Order Of Assignment

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An INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER (Wage Assignment) is an order that deductions be taken from wages or other income to pay current or past-due child support or spousal maintenance. The order is designed to ensure timely support payments. Assignments can apply to an obligor's wages, salary, commissions, and other periodic earnings.

An ORDER STOPPING AN INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER is appropriate when all children emancipate pursuant to A.R.S. §25-501A which states "If a child reaches the age of majority while the child is attending high school or a certified high school equivalency program, support shall continue to be provided while the child is actually attending high school or equivalency program but only until the child reaches nineteen years of age unless the court enters an order pursuant to section §25-320 subsection E." A person obligated to pay or entitled to receive support or spousal maintenance may file a request to terminate any Income Withholding Order if the obligation to pay has ended or will end within ninety days after the filing of the request and if all arrearages either have been paid, will be paid within the period, or have been waived. If you believe that within ninety days the child support obligation will no longer be owed, due to change of status/circumstance you may file to stop the order.

An ORDER TO MODIFY/CHANGE AN INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER is appropriate when the order specifically states an amount for each child and one or more of the children have emancipated or if the order includes arrears and they are paid or will be paid-in-full within ninety days.

An EX PARTE (WITHOUT NOTICE) INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER is an order directing an employer or other payor to withhold a monthly amount from the income of the person obligated to pay child support, spousal maintenance, child support and spousal maintenance arrearage, and/or interest. The order is issued prior to the obligor receiving notice. The first employer/other payor served with an Ex Parte Income Withholding Order is required to provide notice to the employee/obligor.

An ADMINISTRATIVE INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER is an order, issued by the State IV-D Agency (Division of Child Support Services), directing an employer or other payor to withhold a monthly amount from the income of the person obligated to pay child support, spousal maintenance, child support and spousal maintenance arrearage, and/or interest. These orders do not need to be signed.

You may wish to seek the advice of an attorney or you may obtain the necessary forms from the Self-Service Center here.

Family Support Services office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, except holidays. Office telephone number: (602)37-CLERK, or (602)372-5375.

    Clerk of the Court
    Central Court Building
    201 W. Jefferson
    Phoenix, AZ 85003
    FAX# (602) 506-1937

25-505.01. Administrative income withholding order; notice; definition

A. In a title IV-D case, if a person is obligated to pay support, the department or its agent, without prior notice to the obligor, shall issue an income withholding order using the format prescribed by the United States secretary of health and human services.  The order shall include the obligor's social security number.  The withholding order shall include payment for current child support or spousal maintenance and may include an installment payment for arrearages pursuant to subsection B of this section or any other support.  A withholding order under this section does not apply to amounts exempt under section 33-1131, subsection C or any other applicable exemption law.  The withholding order shall direct the holder of the monies to withhold and pay to the person or agency entitled to receive the support the amount ordered by the department.  The withholding order shall be accompanied by a written notice of withholding as prescribed in this section.

B. In addition to current support an income withholding order may include an installment for arrearages or any other support if:

1. At the time of issuance, the arrearage is an amount equal to at least two months but not more than six months of the obligor's current support obligation, the income withholding order shall include an additional amount equal to twenty-five per cent of the current support obligation.

2. At the time of issuance, the arrearage is an amount equal to more than six months of the obligor's current support obligation, the income withholding order shall include an additional amount equal to thirty-three per cent of the current support obligation.

3. At the time of issuance, the arrearage is an amount equal to one year or more of the obligors's support obligation, an income withholding order may include an additional amount that exceeds thirty-three per cent of the support obligation.

C. If the obligor does not owe current support but arrearages remain unpaid, the department or its agent may issue or adjust an income withholding order only for arrearages.  The income withholding order shall be in the amount of the most recent current support order or the most recent order regarding the payment on arrearages, whichever is greater.

D. The department shall serve the order and notice on an employer or payor by first class mail or by electronic means.  Service by mail as authorized in this section is complete as to the employer or payor when the mailing is received.  Service by electronic means is complete on transmission to the employer or payor.  The income withholding order shall direct the employer or payor to deliver or mail by first class mail a copy of the income withholding notice and order to the obligor within ten days after service on the employer or payor.

E. The income withholding order is an assignment and is binding fourteen days after receipt on an existing and future employer or payor of the person ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance on whom a copy of the income withholding order and notice of withholding is served. The employer or payor shall withhold the amount specified in the order from the income of the person obligated to pay support and shall transmit that amount to the support payment clearinghouse within two business days after the date the employee is paid. The employer or payor shall advise the support payment clearinghouse of the date the monies were withheld, may combine withheld amounts for several employees in a single payment and shall separately identify the portion of the payment that is attributable to each employee. The employer or other payor may also withhold and retain for application to the employer's or payor's cost of compliance an additional one dollar per pay period or four dollars per month.

F. If the obligor's disposable income from the primary employer or payor does not meet the support obligation, the department shall issue an income withholding order to a secondary employer of the obligor in order to meet the full support obligation.

G. Any obligor, employer or other payor may challenge the income withholding order issued by the department or its agent by filing a written request for administrative review with the department or its agent within ten days after receipt of the notice of income withholding order from the employer or payor.  The administrative review shall be conducted pursuant to section 25-522.  On receipt of a request for administrative review the department or its agent shall delay implementation of the income withholding order.

H. A change in income withholding pursuant to subsection B of this section is not a sufficient basis for a modification of the current support order.

I. Notwithstanding section 25-504, in a title IV-D case, if all obligations of support have been satisfied and the person obligated to pay support is no longer obligated and if the parties, including the department or its agent in a title IV-D case, submit a stipulation that the current obligation of support no longer exists and that all arrearages either have been satisfied or waived, the department or its agent shall issue an order terminating the income withholding order. The order shall state that the current obligation of support no longer exists and that all arrearages either have been satisfied or waived.  The stipulation shall also contain the name and address of the employer or payor of the person obligated to pay support. Within five business days after the date the stipulation is submitted, the department or its agent shall send by first class mail a copy of the order terminating the income withholding order to the employer or payor, the parties and the clerk of the court.

J. Notwithstanding section 25-504, in a title IV-D case, the department or its agent on its own initiative, or the parties to a child support proceeding on request to the department, may terminate an income withholding order issued pursuant to this section or section 25-504, if the obligation to pay support has ended or will end within ninety days after the date the request is submitted and if all arrearages either have been paid or will be paid within the period or have been waived. The request shall include a statement of why the termination is requested, supporting documentation and the name and address of the employer and person obligated to pay support.  The requesting party shall notify each party by first class mail of the request to terminate the order.  The employer or payor shall continue to withhold and transmit support or spousal maintenance until otherwise ordered.  On receipt of a request to terminate an income withholding order the department or its agent may suspend disbursements until a determination is issued.  A party that receives notice of a request to terminate an income withholding order may object to the request and provide the department or its agent with the basis for the objection and supporting documents within ten days after receipt of the notice. Within forty-five days after the request the department or its agent shall issue a determination to all parties based on the information available. On a determination to terminate an income withholding order, the department or its agent within two business days shall send by first class mail a copy of the order terminating or adjusting the order to the employer or payor and to the support payment clearinghouse.

K. The employer or payor shall notify the support payment clearinghouse in writing when the person ordered to pay support or spousal maintenance is no longer employed by the employer or the right to receive income has been terminated. The employer shall notify the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the former employee's last known address and the name and address of the new employer, if known. If the employer or payor is again obligated to pay income to a person ordered to pay support within ninety days after termination of this right, the employer or payor is again bound by the income withholding order and is required to perform pursuant to this section.

L. The obligation for current child support shall be fully met before any payments under an order of assignment may be applied to payments of arrearages.  If a person is obligated to pay child support for more than one family and the amount available for withholding is not sufficient to meet the total combined child support obligation, any monies withheld from the obligor's income shall be allocated to each family by the employer or payor as follows:

1. The amount of current child support ordered in each case shall be added to obtain the total child support obligation.

2. The ordered amount in each case shall be divided by the total child support obligation to obtain a percentage of the total amount due.

3. The amount available from the obligor's income shall be multiplied by the percentage under paragraph 2 of this subsection to obtain the amount to be allocated to each family.

M. An income withholding order shall include a statement that an employer shall not refuse to hire a person or shall not discharge or otherwise discipline an employee as a result of an income withholding order authorized by this section, and an employer who refuses to hire a person or who discharges or otherwise disciplines an employee as a result of the income withholding order is subject to contempt and fines as established by the court.  Any person wrongfully refused employment or an employee wrongfully discharged or otherwise disciplined is entitled to recovery of damages suffered, reinstatement if appropriate, plus attorney fees and costs incurred.  Any employer or other payor who fails without good cause to comply with the terms of the income withholding order may be liable for amounts not paid to the support payment clearinghouse pursuant to the income withholding order, reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred and may be subject to contempt.  The department may initiate an action in superior court to enforce this subsection.

N. On issuance of an income withholding order the department or its agent shall issue a notice of withholding directed to the person ordered to pay support. The notice shall advise the obligor that:

1. An income withholding order has been issued against the obligor's income for payment of currently accruing child support or spousal maintenance, or both.

2. The income withholding order may include an amount for child support arrearages, or any other support.

3. The obligor may file a written request for administrative review with the department pursuant to section 25-522 within ten days after receipt of this notice if the obligor believes that:

(a) The income withholding order is improper or unlawful.

(b) The obligor's property is exempt by law.

(c) The employer or other payor is withholding more than permitted by law.

4. An income withholding order made pursuant to this section becomes binding on the employer or payor or any future employers or future payors fourteen days after receipt of a copy of the order and notice of withholding.

5. The employer or payor shall withhold the amount specified in the order from the income of the person obligated to pay support.

6. Not more than one-half of the obligor's disposable income for any period may be taken to satisfy an income withholding order issued for the support of any person.

7. The amount of disposable income exempt from the income withholding order must be paid to the obligor on the regular payday for the pay period in which income is earned.

8. The employer or other payor shall continue to withhold the amount set forth in the order each pay period and shall forward the amount to the child support payment clearinghouse until either:

(a) The obligor files a request for administrative review with the department or its agent and after review the department or its agent modifies or terminates the income withholding order.

(b) The obligor files a petition with the court and, after a hearing, the court modifies or terminates the income withholding order.

9. An employer may not refuse to hire, may not discharge or may not otherwise discipline the obligor as a result of this income withholding order. If the obligor is wrongfully refused employment, discharged or otherwise disciplined, the obligor may recover damages suffered, reinstatement of employment if appropriate and reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred against the employer.

10. Unless ordered otherwise, the obligor has a duty to notify the support payment clearinghouse in writing of the address of the obligor's residence and employment and, within ten days, of a change in either one. The department or its agent shall use these addresses to notify the obligor of all subsequent actions to enforce support. Failure of the obligor to advise the department of changes in residential or employment address may subject the obligor to sanctions for contempt of court, including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

O. An income withholding order issued pursuant to this section has the same force and effect as an order of the superior court, has priority over all other attachments, executions, garnishments or assignments and may be enforced against the obligor and employer in superior court.

P. For purposes of this section, "arrearages" means past due support, including interest.

 

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