The following is a brief explanation of how the Child Support Enforcement Division of the Department of Revenue (DOR) processes payments on monthly and weekly child support orders.

DOR's Billing Cycle

The court order of support requires you to pay a certain amount on a weekly or monthly basis, and each week or month another installment of support becomes due. DOR's "billing cycle" is from the first day to the last day of every month. At the beginning of every month, DOR calculates how much support is due that month. Each week (or month if the payroll cycle is monthly), DOR sends a bill to your employer to inform the employer how much child support to withhold from your wages. Your employer is required to send the payment to DOR within three days of the withholding. DOR gives you credit for a payment when DOR receives it, not the date that the payment is withheld from your paycheck. At the end of the month, DOR checks to see how much support was paid by the last day of the month. If DOR does not receive all the payments due in the month before the billing cycle closes at the end of the month, the missed payments result in an arrears balance. This Information Sheet explains how, in some instances, the arrears balance may not be "true" arrears.

If You Have a Weekly Child Support Obligation

If you have a weekly child support obligation, DOR charges your account each Friday. The total child support due in the month is calculated by the number of Fridays in that month.

Example 1: Your child support order is $100 per week and there are five Fridays in June 2000; therefore you owe $500 that month. DOR will not receive the payment deducted from your paycheck and due on June 30 th until sometime in July. As a result, when DOR's billing cycle closes on June 30 th, your account will appear to be delinquent by one payment. DOR should receive five payments in July, however (July 3 rd, 10 th, 17 th, 24 th and 31 st), although only four payments are due. The fifth payment will satisfy the one-week delinquency that occurred in June and you will not be charged interest and penalties on the one-week delinquency.

If You Have a Monthly Child Support Obligation

If you have a monthly child support obligation, DOR charges your account on the first day of each month. As long as DOR receives payment in full within that month, no arrears accrue.

If Your Employer Pays You on a Bi-weekly Payroll

If you receive a paycheck every two weeks, DOR charges your account for the full amount due in the month by counting the number of Fridays in the month, as with a weekly obligation. Twice a year, because you are paid every two weeks, your employer will send payment for the last week of the month in the first week of the next month. Your account will appear to be underpaid by one week and this "delinquency" will remain on the account for three months. As long as regular payments continue every two weeks, DOR will receive an "extra" payment in a subsequent month, and the condition will correct itself. No "true" arrears will accrue and no interest and penalties will be charged.

Example 2: Your child support order is $100 per week, but you receive a paycheck every two weeks. DOR charges your account $500 at the beginning of June, a five-week month. Your employer sends a $200 payment on June 9 th and another on June 23 rd. At the end of June, your account will show "arrears" of $100, even though you have not missed any payments. Your employer continues to send $200 every two weeks and in September, another five-week month, DOR receives $600 (three $200 payments). The $500 due in September is paid, and the extra $100 pays the "arrears" that accrued in June. No interest and penalties will be charged on the "arrears" that accrued in June.

You May Have an Arrears Balance as a Result of the Billing Cycle

As you can see from the examples, an account may show an arrears balance equal to one or two weeks of support, even when child support payments are regular and consistent, because DOR receives a payment due during the month after the billing cycle closes for that month. If this occurs in your case, your account is not delinquent. As long as you, or your employer, continue to make regular payments, this condition will correct itself. As long as you do not owe other arrears, you will not be charged interest and penalties and DOR will not take enforcement action to collect this amount.

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