How will I know when I must withhold child support from an employee's income?

As a North Carolina employer, you may receive a child support order or notice from:
-A local North Carolina Child Support office;
-A child support enforcement agency in another state; or
-North Carolina District Court, through a private attorney.
Employers must honor all of these requests. If you receive a withholding order from another source you may wish to consult an attorney. The notice or order tells you how much to withhold from your employee for current support, past due support (arrears), or both. It also tells you where and how to send payments and explains your rights and responsibilities.
All payors of income must honor income withholding orders or notices. This includes all government agencies and any other person who must withhold income from a non-custodial parent to pay child support.

How do I get an MPI number or docket number for an employee's case?

If these numbers do not appear on your list of employees who owe child support or if you have a new employee, call NC Child Support Centralized Collections at 1-877-280-EMPL (3675); or your local Child Support Agency.

What kinds of income are subject to withholding?

Income must be withheld from wages, salaries, commissions, vacation pay, bonuses, workers’ compensation, disability payments, payments from a pension or retirement program, and interest; a sole payment or lump sum; and irregular income.

After I receive the notice, how soon must I begin to withhold child support from the employee?

You must begin to withhold income from the employee in the first pay period that occurs after 14 days from the day you received the order or notice of the income withholding. The employer or other payor, must then forward the withheld amounts to the NC Child Support Centralized Collections operation within 7 days of the noncustodial parent’s payday. They must also include the date that each payment was withheld from the noncustodial parent’s income.

How often must I send child support payments to the NC Centralized Collections operation?

Payments must be sent no later than seven business days from the date employee is paid.

May employers charge a fee for withholding and processing the child support payments?

A processing fee of $2.00 per withholding can be retained by the employer (unless it is withholding of Unemployment Benefits.) This fee is not included in the total amount that the employer is told to withhold

Where do I send the support I withhold?

Federal and State laws require each state to establish a centralized location-state disbursement unit-to receive and distribute all support payments withheld under an income withholding notice. In North Carolina, the NC Child Support Centralized Collections operation is the centralized location for payment processing.

For income withholding notices received from North Carolina offices, send payments to:
NC Child Support Centralized Collections
PO Box 900006
Raleigh, NC 27675-0577

If I receive an income withholding order/notice from a child support agency in another state, must I send payments directly to the other state?

Yes. Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) all employers are required to honor income withholding orders from other states. Send payments requested by other states to the registry indicated on the notice sent by that state.

What should I do if an employee has multiple child support income withholding notices?

If an employee has multiple child support income withholding notices, you must honor them all. The maximum allowable percentage of withholding is fifty percent (50%) of disposable income (*when withholding for multiple support orders and the non-custodial parent is not providing direct support for a current spouse or other dependent children).

I have several employees each with income withholding notices. May I combine all of their child support in one check?

You can combine all child support withholdings into one check as long as all payments are to be sent to the same location. You must also identify each payment by the account number, name of the employee, amount, and the date of withholding.

What if the employee quits or is terminated?

When the employee quits work, contact the local child support agency.  Provide the employee’s last known address and the name and address of your employee’s new employer, if known.

When can I stop withholding?

As long as the non-custodial parent is employed, the withholding of income for support must continue until you receive a notice from the Child Support Agency to stop withholding.

What should I do when medical coverage is attached to an income withholding notice?

Employers are required to add children to the non-custodial parent’s group health insurance plan and deduct the appropriate premium as ordered by a court, even if this is against the employee’s wishes. NC laws related to this can be found in N.C.G.S. 50-13.11 (c).

What is EFT/ EDI?

EFT/ EDI refers to the process of sending (child support) payments electronically through the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network. EFT stands for electronic funds transfer, which refers to the sending of money electronically. EDI stands for electronic data interchange, which refers to sending the case information in order to post the payment and credit the non-custodial parent.

What is the ACH?

The Automated Clearing House is a payment mechanism that replaces paper checks with electronic transactions. ACH transactions are processed through the ACH network, a highly reliable and efficient nationwide, batch-oriented electronic funds transfer (EFT) system managed by the Federal Reserve Bank.

How does EFT/ EDI work?

Your company transmits payment and remittance information to your bank, which then originates the ACH entries to transfer the payment and remittance information through the ACH network to the bank used by the NC CSCC to collect the funds. Once received, the bank deposits the funds and provides the remittance information (EDI) associated with those payments to the NC CSCC for posting.

What are the benefits/ cost savings of sending child support payments electronically?

Electronic payments are cheaper, safer, and faster than sending paper checks. Your company will save time and money, and the child support payment will reach the custodial parent faster.

Whom should I contact regarding the EFT/ EDI process?

NC Child Support Centralized Collections
P. O. Box 90311
Raleigh, NC 27675-0311
Telephone: 877-280-3675
Fax: 919-787-6055

Are employers required to send child support payments electronically?

Federal regulations do not require employers to send payments electronically, but several states and territories have passed legislation requiring employers of a certain size or sending a certain number of payments to remit electronically. Currently, North Carolina does not require employers to remit payments electronically.

What payment formats does the NC CSCC accept?

EFT/ EDI transactions must be transmitted in CCD+ or CTX format using the DED (Deduction) Child Support Addendum Record.

What do I need to do in order to set up EFT/ EDI?

First, you may need to contact your financial institution if you dont currently have software that will support a CCD+ or CTX payment format. Secondly, you will need to submit identifying information (to the NC CSCC) for each employee for whom you are withholding child support. The information will be reconciled against the States child support computer system. Finally you will need to conduct a prenote.

How long does it take to set up EFT/ EDI?

That depends upon you and your financial institution. Once the identifying information is reconciled, and your prenote is successfully received at the NC CSCC, you can begin remitting your withholdings electronically.

What format should I use to submit my employees information for reconciliation purposes?

The amount of child support to be paid is based upon the NC Child Support Guidelines . These guidelines are used to calculate child support orders based on the ability of parents to pay and the needs of the children. The amount of child support is calculated using the worksheets contained in the guidelines.

Do you have anything you can send me regarding the EFT/ EDI process?

An information packet can be downloaded at www.ncchildsupport.com or you can contact us at 877-280-3675 and we will mail you a packet.

What should I do if the wrong amount is withheld from an employees paycheck?

If the wrong amount is withheld from an employees paycheck (or the employees pay was incorrectly calculated), your company should contact the child support office that handles the case. Can I transmit a debit transaction (reversal) if there is a mistake? No, the NC CSCC does not allow debit transactions.

Can I transmit a debit transaction (reversal) if there is a mistake?

No, the NC CSCC does not allow debit transactions.

I recently arranged for a prenote transmission, when can I stop mailing in checks?

10 business days are required to validate bank account information before you can begin transmitting child support withholdings electronically. You should continue to remit a check for your employees child support withholdings during this 10-business day period. You will be notified if the prenote is unsuccessful, at which point you must continue to remit a check until your bank account information has been successfully verified.