CS 450P-8 Child Support Awards – Downward Modification Results in Pre-payment of Current Support Due
10/90 Revised 07/14/12 Training Completed 07/28/12
If a downward modification results in pre-payment of current support due to a Non-IV-A custodial parent (CP) and if income withholding is in effect, you may reduce or suspend income withholding until current support again becomes due under the support order as long as the CP still has custody of the child. Please note that this can only occur when there were no arrears in the case, or there were arrears but the extra amount paid was enough to more than satisfy the arrears debt, and the remainder effectively pre-paid current support for a period of time. If an arrears debt was owing to which the payment was or should have been applied, no pre-payment of current support has occurred.
NOTE: Current support must be due and owing under the terms of the underlying support order for income withholding to continue to be authorized as an enforcement remedy. If a non-custodial parent (NCP) has pre-paid the support obligation due for a future period, the support order does not authorize income withholding to force additional payments until support again becomes due under the terms of the order.
Procedures When Current Support Has Been Pre-paid
If child support has been pre-paid due to a downward modification, use one of the following methods to resolve the pre-payment:
1. Contact the NCP and the CP and explain the situation. Attempt to set up a payment plan with the parties concerning how much and for how long the income withholding for current support amount will be reduced or suspended due to the prepaid support. The reduced payment plan can last no longer than the number of months between the effective date of the reduced support amount and the date that the order became final/enforceable. If the parents agree on a reduction, amend the Notice to Withhold accordingly and write a self alert for future follow-up on the case.
EXAMPLE: The NCP is paying $300 per month according to the existing order, and the payments are being disbursed to the Non-IV-A CP. The order is modified downward to $200 per month. The effective date of the modification was three months earlier, resulting in pre-payment of current support due to the CP in the amount of $300 (3 months x $100/month overpaid). The NCP and CP agree to have the NCP only pay $100 for three months, to gradually bring the account back to zero, and then begin paying the new amount of $200 per month after the three-month period.
2. If either party is unwilling to agree to the gradual approach, suspend the support and terminate the Notice to Withhold until the current support becomes due again (no longer prepaid) under the modified support order.
NOTE 1: Do not initiate enforcement remedies of any kind until current support again becomes due under the terms of the support order.
NOTE 2: If the NCP is NOT on income withholding, you may similarly attempt to obtain an agreement between the NCP and CP about a reduced amount to gradually bring the account back to zero. .