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Sec. 25.27.062. Income withholding order for support.

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Go back to: Title 25. Marital and Domestic Relations.
Go back to: Chapter 27. Child Support Services Agency.

Sec. 25.27.062. Income withholding order for support.
 (a) Unless the court or agency is establishing only a medical support order, a judgment, court order, or order of the agency under this chapter providing for support must contain an income withholding order. Except as provided in (m) of this section, the income withholding order must provide for immediate income withholding if the support order is
     (1) being enforced by the agency and was issued or modified on or after July 8, 1994; or

     (2) not being enforced by the agency and was issued on or after July 8, 1994.

 (b) An income withholding order must direct the obligor, the obligor’s employer, future employer, and any person, political subdivision, or department of the state to withhold money due or to be due the obligor and pay the money to the agency, in an amount determined under (i) of this section. A court that issues a support order on or after July 8, 1994 shall send a copy of the order to the agency.

 (c) Income withholding under a support order that does not require immediate withholding may be initiated under AS 25.27.150 if the support order is being enforced by the agency, or under (d) of this section if the support order is not being enforced by the agency, if
     (1) the obligor requests withholding;

     (2) the payments that the obligor has failed to make within 30 days of the monthly due date specified in the support order are equal to or greater than the support payable for one month; or

     (3) the obligee requests withholding and
          (A) the agency approves the request because all or part of the monthly payment of the obligor has been more than 10 days overdue more than one time in the preceding 12 months or there is reason to believe that the obligor might withdraw assets to avoid payment of support; in this paragraph, “10 days overdue” means occurring 10 days after the monthly due date specified in a support order; or

          (B) the court approves the request for good cause.

 (d) Income withholding under a support order that does not require immediate income withholding and that is not being enforced by the agency may be initiated either by filing a motion with the court and complying with applicable court rules or, if there is a child support arrearage, by making a written request to the agency for immediate income withholding under AS 25.27.150. Application to the agency under this subsection may not, by itself, be construed as a request for other services of the agency. If immediate withholding under this subsection is sought through a motion to the court, the court shall order the beginning of income withholding under this subsection if the court finds that any of the grounds in (c)(1), (2), or (3)(B) of this section is satisfied. It is not a defense to a motion based on (c)(2) of this section that less than one full month’s payment is past due by 30 days if at least one full month’s payment was past due by 30 days on the date the motion was filed. Notice to the obligor of income withholding ordered under this subsection must be given in a manner that complies with court rules. In this subsection, “past due by 30 days” means unpaid 30 days after the monthly due date specified in the support order.

 (e) The agency or the person who obtains an income withholding order under this chapter shall immediately send a copy of the income withholding order, a copy of the relevant provisions of AS 25.27.260 and this section, and an explanation of the effect of the statutes to persons who may owe money to an obligor. These items may be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, or they may be served personally by a process server, except that the agency alternatively may send the items by electronic means. An income withholding order made under this chapter is binding upon a person, employer, political subdivision, or department of the state immediately upon receipt of a copy of the income withholding order. A person receiving an income withholding order shall immediately begin withholding the specified amount from the obligor’s earnings. The amount withheld shall be sent to the agency within seven business days after the date the amount would otherwise have been paid or credited to the obligor. An employer may, for each payment made under an order, deduct $5 from other wages or salary owed to the obligor.

 (f) An employer may not discharge, discipline, or refuse to employ an obligor on the basis of an income withholding order issued under this chapter. If an employer discharges, disciplines, or refuses to employ an obligor because of an income withholding obligation, the court, after notice and hearing, may order reinstatement or restitution to the obligor, or both. A person who violates this subsection or a regulation adopted to implement it, is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.

 (g) An income withholding order under this chapter has priority over all other attachments, executions, garnishments, or other legal process brought under state law against the same property unless otherwise ordered by the court. An income withholding order is not limited to the wages of an obligor but may include all money owed to the obligor not otherwise exempt by law. Exemptions under AS 09.38 do not apply to income withholdings under this chapter.

 (h) The court may order payment of all court costs that resulted from an income withholding proceeding under this chapter.

 (i) An employer shall, to the extent permitted under 15 U.S.C. 1673(b), withhold the current support obligation from an obligor’s wages, including the obligor’s share, if any, of the premium for health coverage required to be withheld under AS 25.27.063(c)(4). An employer shall withhold additional income, to the extent permitted under 15 U.S.C. 1673(b), from an obligor’s wages for any support arrearage.

 (j) An employer may combine into a single payment to the agency amounts withheld from more than one obligor if the employer specifies the portion of the payment attributable to each obligor and complies with the time deadlines set out in (e) of this section.

 (k) An employer who is withholding income of an obligor under an order that provides that the withheld income shall be paid to the agency shall notify the agency promptly when the obligor gives or receives notice of termination of employment and provide to the agency the obligor’s last known home address and the name and address of the obligor’s new employer, if known. The employer shall keep a record of the order to withhold income from the obligor for three years after the employer notifies the agency that the obligor has terminated employment. If, within that three-year period, the obligor is reemployed by the former employer, the employer shall immediately implement the order against the obligor’s earnings unless the employer has received notice from the agency that the order is no longer applicable to the obligor. If the obligor is reemployed by the former employer after that three-year period, the employer is not required to implement a withholding order against the obligor’s earnings until the employer receives a new order to withhold the obligor’s income under this chapter.

 (l) Unless modified or terminated by the agency or the court, an order to withhold income under this chapter remains in effect, except as provided in (k) of this section, until the support order is satisfied. The agency or court may not terminate or modify an income withholding order solely on the ground that the obligor has paid all arrearages. Upon satisfaction of a support order, if the order is
     (1) being enforced by the agency, the agency shall, within 15 working days, notify all persons served by the agency with the income withholding order that withholding is no longer required; if the agency receives money from an obligor under an income withholding order after the underlying support order has been satisfied and the agency was enforcing the support order at the time it became satisfied, the agency shall immediately return the overpayment to the obligor; if the agency fails to return an overpayment as required under this paragraph, the state is liable to the obligor for the amount of the overpayment, plus interest at the rate of six percent a year, and a person to whom the agency erroneously disbursed the overpayment is liable to the state for the amount disbursed, plus interest at the rate of six percent a year;

     (2) not being enforced by the agency, the obligor shall file a motion in court requesting termination of the withholding order and serve the motion on the obligee; the court shall enter an order terminating the withholding order if the court determines that the support order has been satisfied; the obligor may deliver a copy of the termination order to persons who were served with the income withholding order; when a termination order is entered, the obligee shall, upon request of the obligor, notify the obligor of all persons who have been served with the income withholding order by the obligee.

 (m) An income withholding order described in (a)(1) — (2) of this section is not subject to immediate withholding if the support order is
     (1) being enforced by the agency and the obligor agrees to keep the agency informed of the obligor’s current employer and the availability of employment-related health insurance coverage for the children covered by the support order until the support order is satisfied and
          (A) the agency has entered into its record a written agreement between the obligor and the obligee that provides for an alternative arrangement and income withholding has not been terminated previously and subsequently initiated; the agency must also be a party to an agreement under this paragraph if support has been assigned to the state; or

          (B) the obligor or obligee demonstrates and the agency, in compliance with applicable federal law, finds good cause not to require immediate income withholding because it would not be in the best interests of the child and, in a case involving the modification of a support order, the obligor has made voluntary support payments under a court or agency order and has not been in arrears in an amount equal to the support payable for one month; in this paragraph, “in arrears” means failing to make a support payment within 30 days of the monthly due date specified in the order;

     (2) not being enforced by the agency and the obligor agrees to keep the obligee informed of the obligor’s current employer and the availability of employment-related health insurance coverage for the children covered by the support order until the support order is satisfied and
          (A) the court finds that (i) a written agreement exists between the obligor and the obligee that provides for an alternative arrangement and (ii) income withholding has not been terminated previously and subsequently initiated; the agency must also be a party to an agreement under this paragraph if support has been assigned to the state; or

          (B) the obligor or obligee demonstrates, and the court, in compliance with applicable federal law, finds good cause not to require immediate income withholding because it would not be in the best interests of the child and, in a case involving the modification of a support order, the obligor has made voluntary support payments under a court or agency order and has not been in arrears in an amount equal to the support payable for one month; in this paragraph, “in arrears” means failing to make a support payment within 30 days of the monthly due date specified in the order; or

     (3) an order that involves an obligor who is receiving social security or other disability compensation that includes regular payments to the children who are the subjects of the support order, except to the extent that the payments to the children do not equal the child support due each month.

 (n) In calculating the amount of child support to be withheld under an income withholding order, the agency shall give credit to the obligor for the cost to the obligor of medical and dental insurance for the children and educational payments for the children to the extent that the insurance coverage and educational payments are required in the applicable child support order and are actually paid for by the obligor.

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