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Payroll deductions streamline child support

In Minnesota and across the country, payroll collections are essential to the successful enforcement of child support orders. Across the country, almost 66 percent of all child support payments are made through electronic portals that streamline payroll withholding at the workplace. In 2017, $24.4 billion of a total $32.4 billion in child support payments across the country were collected through direct payroll deduction according to the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

The federal office received over 67 million new-hire reports from employers in 2017. These mandatory reports must be made by companies that hire new workers; by reporting this information to the federal system, any state with an outstanding child support order against that parent can seek automatic withholding of their support payments through payroll. The federal agency's commissioner said that there are three elements necessary for the payroll program's success, including a reliable system, a working parent and the payroll professionals involved. He noted that the agency is highly successful in collecting overdue child support, noting that it collects $5.33 for each dollar spent on its efforts.

In order to promote greater financial efficiency in the child support collection process, the federal agency is pushing for an even wider adoption of electronic protocols for payroll withholdings. These electronic systems replaced earlier, paper-based systems to manage child support deduction on the job. The federal agency maintains an internet portal that allows employers to report new hires as well as termination and other data.

Single parents with primary custody of their children may struggle to pay the bills, and this task can be made significantly harder when parents fail to meet their child support obligations. A family law attorney may help parents to pursue their non-paying co-parent for enforcement action and work to obtain a fair child support order in court.

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