FAQs for Employers

We have answers to the most common child support questions from employers.

Most employer obligations and tasks can be managed easily online using the Oregon Employer Services Portal ».

If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please contact Employer Services.


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Can I discipline, discharge, or refuse to hire an employee because of a child support withholding order?

No. An employer commits an unlawful employment practice if the employer discharges, refuses to hire, or in any other manner discriminates, retaliates, or takes disciplinary action against the employee because of the entry or service of a withholding order, or because of the obligations the order imposes on the employer.

What if my employee wants to make a voluntary deduction for child support, or increase the amount withheld in excess of the income withholding order?

The employee would need to contact the assigned child support agency, either the Oregon Child Support Program or another state’s child support agency. You, as the employer, are required to withhold the amount noted on the income withholding order. An employee can make additional payments by personal check or money order to the issuing agency.

Does an Order/Notice to Withhold always come from the Oregon Division of Child Support or District Attorney’s office?

No. The law allows every state to send orders to employers to another state. Therefore, a notice to withhold may also come directly from another state, a private attorney, or a custodial parent. Please see the U S. Department of Human Services guide to contacts » for more information.

Will employer packets vary?

Yes. Although the income withholding order for child support should be the same from every state because it is a standardized federal form, each state has different forms that will accompany the withholding order.

What if my employee’s available disposable income is less than the pay period amount on the order?

Cash support (including spousal support) is withheld first, health care coverage premiums second, and “other” is last. If the employee has multiple notices for withholding, withhold first cash support (current and arrears) for all cases on a proportionate-share basis, then equally apply any remaining amounts to all orders with arrears. If any income is left after cash support is withheld, then withhold for the health care coverage, and “other” would follow.

How do I, as an employer, know when and how much to withhold when I receive an “Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support”?

Withholding income must begin the first pay period occurring after you receive the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (CSF 11 0210 (PDF) »). The notice informs you, as the employer, of the amount to be withheld. You must send the withheld income within seven working days of the pay date and date of withholding. Send the withheld income to the address under “remittance information” in the notice.

What is “disposable income”?

Disposable income is defined as the part of an individual’s income remaining after the deduction of any amounts required to be withheld by law. In Oregon, mandatory deductions are: federal, state and local income taxes, Social Security, Medicare, workers compensation, and any statutory retirement payments.

Can I withhold child support from lump-sum type payments?

Yes, child support can be withheld up to 50 percent of a lump-sum payment after mandatory deductions. The definition of income is money owed to an employee and includes but is not limited to: money paid for personal services, including wages, salary, bonus, commission, pension, or retirement payments. Income received as an independent contractor, cash dividends from stocks or bonds, unemployment compensation, disability, and workers compensation benefits are all considered income as well.

If the employee is due to receive any type of lump sum or benefit, you may be required to withhold from that income. Contact Employer Services at 503-378-2868 for assistance.

What if I, as an employer, do not comply with the income withholding order?

The employer may be liable for the full amount of support not withheld from the employee’s pay, and may also be subject to a fine and be required to pay reasonable costs of a civil action to recover the amounts subject to withholding, including attorney fees.

Can I send my payments by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?

Electronic funds transfer is available to employers, see Income Withholding and Methods of Payment.