When to Begin Withholding?
When an Order/Notice to Withhold Income For Child Support is received, federal and state regulations require an employer to:
- Start withholding child support no later than the first pay period within 14 working days of the date on the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support.
- Send the withheld child support to the address on the order/notice within two business days from the date the employee is paid.
What You Need to Know About Withholding?
- Priority- Child support withholdings take priority over any other legal process, even if another withholding order was served first. Child support must be withheld, up to 50% of the employee's disposable earnings, before deductions for other withholding orders are taken.
- The only exception is if a federal tax levy is received BEFORE the Order/Notice To Withhold Income For Child Support.
- Pay Period Frequency- Please divide the withholding among the pay periods for the month. The total amount withheld in a month must equal the monthly amount due on the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support.
- Payments must be sent within two business days from the date the employee is paid. Do NOT hold payments until the full monthly amount is reached.
- Duration- The withholding must remain in effect until the Division of Child Support Services(DCSS) officially notifies the employer, in writing, to adjust or terminate withholding.
- You may NOT stop the withholding because the employee has asked you to do so, or because the arrears appear to be paid.
- An employer may be found liable for any payments not withheld as required.
- Fees for Withholding– Arizona law allows employers to charge a processing fee of up to $1.00 per payroll period, or a maximum of $4.00 per month, from the remainder of the employee’s earnings, after the child support has been withheld.
- Do NOT deduct the fee from the child support payment.
- Bankruptcy- If the employee advises that they have filed for bankruptcy, withholding must remain in effect until the DCSS officially notifies the employer, in writing, to adjust or terminate withholding.
- Advise the employee to contact DCSS Customer Service about the Income Withholding Order.
- Employee Termination- When an employee that child support payments are being withheld from ends his/her employment, you must notify the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse (SDU) in writing and provide them with:
- Employee's name
- Date of separation
- Case identifier - typically the ATLAS case number
- Last known home address
- Name and address of employee's new employer, if know The CSE-1196 Notice of Termination is also available here.
- Rehired employee – If a former employee that child support payments were being withheld from is rehired within 90 days, do NOT wait to receive a new Order/Notice to Withhold for Child Support. You must honor the existing notice.
- Income Withholding from Another State– If an employer receives an income withholding notice from another state, the employer is required to honor it as if it were received from Arizona.
Make checks payable to the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse. Clearinghouse is Arizona’s centralized State Disbursement Unit (SDU) for processing child support and/or maintenance payments. The Arizona SDU processes payments for cases being enforced by the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS), known as Title IV-D cases, and also for local Clerk of the Court cases, known as Non-Title IV-D cases.
Mail payments to:
Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse
P. O. Box 52107
Phoenix, Arizona 85072-2107
Overnight express payments can be sent to:
Arizona Department of Economic Security
DCSS - SDU S/C 019A - Mail Drop 7214
1789 West Jefferson, 3rd Floor SW
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Provide the following information with each payment:
- Payment Amount (for each ATLAS case number*)
- ATLAS case number*
- Employee name
- Employee social security number
- Date withheld
- Employer FEIN or Employer ID number
*The ATLAS case number can be found on the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support.
Employers may request individual employee’s payment records for ATLAS cases by contacting DCSS Customer Service at 602-252-4045.
Missing / Lost Payments
Employers may contact DCSS Customer Service at 602-252-4045 if a payment is believed to be missing/lost. In order for the DCSS to search for a payment, the following information must be provided:
- Payment check number
- Payment check amount
- Date check cleared employer’s bank
- Employee(s) name(s)
- Employee(s) identifying information such as ATLAS case number or social security number
The DCSS will research to see if the payment has been received. If it is determined that the payment has not been received by the SDU, and the employer chooses to do a stop payment, the employer must notify DCSS Customer Service immediately.
Who to Contact
For questions related to income withholding, contact the individual or agency noted in on of the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support.
For issues related to payment processing, contact DCSS Customer Service at 602-252-4045.
Employer Outreach Online Reference
If you would like more online information about Employer Outreach, please contact DCSS Customer Service at 602-252-4045.