Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
Chapter 19. Child Support Enforcement
5/25/2022

Article 5. Income Withholding.

§ 63.2-1923. Immediate withholding from income; exception; notices required.

A. Every administrative support order directing a noncustodial parent to pay child or child and spousal support shall provide for immediate income withholding from the noncustodial parent's income as defined in § 63.2-1900 of an amount for current support plus an amount to be applied toward liquidation of arrearages, if any, unless the obligor and the Department, on behalf of the obligee, agree to a written alternative payment arrangement, or good cause is shown. Good cause shall be based upon a written determination that, and explanation by the Department of why, implementing immediate withholding would not be in the best interests of the child. The total amount withheld shall not exceed the maximum amount permitted under § 34-29.

B. The order shall include, but not be limited to, notice (i) of the amount that will be withheld, (ii) that the withholding applies to any current or subsequent period of employment, (iii) of the right to contest whether a duty of support is owed and the information specified in the administrative order is correct, (iv) that a written request to appeal the withholding shall be made to the Department within 10 days of receipt of the notice, and (v) of the actions that will be taken by the Department if an appeal is noted, which shall include the opportunity to present his objections to the administrative hearing officer at a hearing held pursuant to § 63.2-1942. Upon service of the order on the employer by first-class or certified mail, by electronic means, or by service in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329, the employer shall deliver the order to the noncustodial parent.

C. The noncustodial parent's employer shall be issued by first-class or certified mail or by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, an administrative order for withholding of income which shall conform to § 20-79.3. The rights and responsibilities of an employer with respect to such orders are set out in § 20-79.3.

D. Administrative orders for withholding from income shall be promptly terminated or modified by the Department when (i) the obligation to support has been satisfied and arrearages have been paid, (ii) the whereabouts of the child or child and custodial parent become unknown, or (iii) modification is appropriate because of a change in the amount of the obligation.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-258.1; 1990, c. 896; 1991, c. 334; 1995, c. 714; 1997, cc. 648, 663; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469; 2015, c. 52; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1924. Withholding from income; default of administrative or judicial support order; notices required; priorities; orders from other states.

A. As part of every administrative support order directing a noncustodial parent to pay child or child and spousal support or by separate order at any time thereafter, provision shall be made for withholding from the income of the noncustodial parent the amount of the withholding order plus an amount to be applied toward liquidation of arrearages if the noncustodial parent fails to make payments in an amount equal to the support payable for one month. The total amount withheld shall not exceed the maximum amount permitted under § 34-29.

B. Upon default of an administrative or judicial support order, the Department shall serve notice on the noncustodial parent's employer of the delinquency in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-296, 8.01-327 or 8.01-329 or by certified mail or electronic means, including facsimile transmission, for delivery to the noncustodial parent. The notice shall inform the noncustodial parent (i) of the amount that will be withheld, (ii) that the withholding applies to any current or subsequent period of employment, (iii) of the right to contest but that the only basis for contesting the withholding is a mistake of fact, (iv) that a written request to contest the withholding must be made to the Department within 10 days of receipt of the notice, (v) of the actions that will be taken by the Department if a request to contest is noted, which shall include the opportunity to present his objections, which shall be limited to a mistake of fact, to the administrative hearing officer at a hearing held pursuant to § 63.2-1942, (vi) that a determination on the contest will be made no later than 45 days from the date of service of such notice, and (vii) that payment of overdue support upon receipt of the required notice shall not be a bar to the implementation of withholding.

C. The noncustodial parent's employer shall be issued by first-class or certified mail or by electronic means, including facsimile transmission, an administrative order for withholding of income that shall conform to § 20-79.3. The rights and responsibilities of an employer with respect to such orders are set out in § 20-79.3.

D. The Department shall have the authority in the issuance of an administrative order under § 20-79.3, based on an existing court order, to convert the terms of payment to conform with the obligor's pay period interval. The Department shall utilize the conversion formula established by the Committee on District Courts.

E. Administrative orders for withholding from income shall be promptly terminated or modified by the Department when (i) the obligation to support has been satisfied and arrearages have been paid, (ii) the whereabouts of the child or child and custodial parent become unknown, or (iii) modification is appropriate because of a change in the amount of the obligation.

F. If a court of competent jurisdiction or the agency operating pursuant to an approved state plan under Sections 452 and 454 of the Social Security Act, as amended, in any state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia has ordered a person to pay child or child and spousal support, upon notice and hearing as provided in this section, the Department shall issue an order, conforming to § 20-79.3, to the noncustodial parent's employer in this Commonwealth to withhold from the income of the noncustodial parent pursuant to a foreign support order in the same manner as provided in this section for administrative orders originating in this Commonwealth. Similar orders of the Department may be enforced in a similar manner in such other state, territory or district.

1985, c. 488, § 63.1-250.3; 1986, c. 594; 1987, cc. 640, 658, 706; 1988, c. 906; 1990, c. 896; 1995, c. 714; 1997, cc. 648, 663; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469; 2015, c. 52; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1924.1. Health care coverage; National Medical Support Notice.

A. All child support orders established and enforced pursuant to this title shall include a provision for health care coverage of dependent children. The Department shall use the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to enforce the provision of health care coverage through an employment-related group health plan pursuant to a child support order if available at a reasonable cost, as that term is defined in § 63.2-1900, unless a court or administrative order stipulates alternative health care coverage to employer-based coverage.

B. The Department shall transfer the NMSN to employers within two business days following the date of entry into the State Directory of New Hires of an employee who is obligated to pay child support or to provide health care coverage pursuant to this title. Employers shall transfer the NMSN to the appropriate group plan providing the health care coverage for each eligible child (excluding the severable Notice to Withhold for Health Care Coverage directing the employer to withhold any mandatory employee contributions to the plan) within twenty business days after the date of the NMSN. The Department, in consultation with the custodial parent, shall promptly select from available plan options when the plan administrator reports that there is more than one option available under the plan.

C. Employers shall withhold any obligation of the employee for employee contribution necessary for coverage of each eligible child and send any amount withheld directly to the plan. An employee obligated for contribution necessary for coverage may contest the withholding based on a mistake of fact. If the employee contests the withholding, the employer shall continue to withhold the obligation necessary for coverage until the employer receives notice that the contest is resolved in favor of the employee.

D. Employers shall notify the Department promptly whenever the employment of a parent ordered to provide health care coverage is terminated in the same manner as required for income withholding pursuant to § 20-79.3. The Department shall promptly notify an employer when there is no longer a current order for health care coverage in effect for which the Department is responsible.

2002, c. 844, § 63.1-250.3:1; 2009, c. 713.

§ 63.2-1925. Certain amount of income that may be withheld by lien or order.

Whenever a support lien, order to withhold and deliver property or order for withholding of income is served upon any person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision or department of this Commonwealth asserting a support debt against income and there is any such income in the possession of such person, then that person shall withhold from the disposable income as defined in § 63.2-100 (i) the amount stated in the lien, the order to withhold and deliver property, or the order for withholding of income; or (ii) the maximum amount permitted under § 34-29, whichever is less. The order shall show the maximum percentage of disposable income which may be withheld pursuant to § 34-29. The lien or order to withhold and deliver shall continue to operate and require such person, firm, corporation, association, political subdivision, or department of this Commonwealth to withhold the nonexempt portion of income at each succeeding income disbursement interval until the entire amount of the support debt stated in the lien has been withheld. The order for withholding of income continues until further notice by first-class or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by electronic means from the Department is received by the employer.

1974, c. 413, § 63.1-257; 1976, c. 357; 1978, c. 564; 1982, c. 402; 1985, c. 488; 1998, c. 727; 2002, c. 747; 2003, c. 469; 2016, c. 29.

§ 63.2-1926. Withholding pursuant to foreign support order.

If a court of competent jurisdiction or the agency operating pursuant to an approved state plan under Sections 452 and 454 of the Social Security Act, as amended, in any state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia has ordered a person to pay child or child and spousal support, upon notice and hearing as provided in this section, the Department shall order such noncustodial parent's employer in this Commonwealth to withhold from the earnings of the noncustodial parent pursuant to a foreign support order in the same manner as provided in §§ 63.2-1923 and 63.2-1924.

1988, c. 906, § 63.1-258.2; 2002, c. 747.