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Collecting Child Support

Once a parent has an order awarding child support, then what?  Typically if the parent responsible for paying has a job, the attorney should ensure an IWO (Income Withholding Order) is filed.  This will deduct the monthly obligation of child support from the parent who owes the duty of support.  This amount is deducted in accordance with how they are paid, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.  After the support is deducted from their payroll check, the money is forwarded to the Alabama Child Support Payment Center.  From there, it is either direct deposited into the custodial parent's account or put on a debit card for them to use.

The question I have to answer over and over again is the difference between a garnishment and an IWO.  IWO are more appropriate for child support because that is a monthly payment which is how an IWO works.  A garnishment can be utilized for a one time withdrawal from someone's paycheck or their checking account.  Since it is a one time withdrawal it is only appropriate for a property settlement or an amount that is reduced to a judgment.  After the one time withdrawal is made the garnishment is satisfied.  Or a continuining garnishment will continue until the entire amount requested is fulfilled.

It is important to have an attorney involved for both processes to avoid delays.  To properly file an IWO it must be served upon the employer and the employee who owes the money.  If any problems with service occur, it will greatly delay the receipient from getting the funds.

A garnishment served and collected does not end the process.  An attorney is very useful during the collection of garnished funds since they are originally paid into the clerk's office.  Motions and Orders have to be filed before the funds are released.  To expedite this process, hiring an attorney is always a good choice.  An attorney who assists a client collect a garnishment should follow the entire process until the funds are actually released to the client.

Child support can be collected both ways.  However, an IWO will be best suited to do so since it is a monthly obligation unless there is an arrearage that can be reduced to a judgment and collected in a garnishment proceeding.  Things to consider for this process are whether the person owing the money has a job, or whether they have the funds in a bank account either savings or checking.  If either of these criteria are met, a garnishment may satisfy what is owed.

The typical case that has both current child support and arrearages due are collected through an IWO.  In this instance, the IWO will be calculated to deduct the current amount due each month and set a separate payment for the arrearage amount due.  Both amounts can be deducted monthly in accordance with the employees payroll schedule.  Then the amounts will following the normal process to being delivered to the parent who is owed the support.  Arrearage only cases can also be set up with an IWO as well.  IWO are utilized in both employer-employee situations and through deductions made from social security benefits.

Contact our office today if you are in need of collecting child support.  We are here to assist you with your child support needs  (205) 623-1001.

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Birmingham, AL 35209

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