What Is an IWO?


If you are a noncustodial parent who falls behind on your child support payments after aPasadena divorce, the court may issue an Order/Notice to Withhold Income (IWO) for Child Support (FL-195). Also called the Income Withholding for Support, this form requires your employer to withhold a portion of your wages to meet your past-due child support obligation.

If your employer receives an order to withhold earnings from your check, you do not need to personally do anything. Your employer will be given instructions for how to handle the request.

If you have an IWO attached to your case, your employer must handle your child support payments. The federal mandate that was established by the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) does not allow you to continue making payments on your own, even if you provide proof of the payments to your employer.

Please keep in mind that employers in the state of California must comply with income withholding orders not only from California, but from any other state in the U.S. as well.

If you do not have enough earnings to satisfy all income withholding orders, there is a specified priority list that an employer should follow. Current child support or spousal support payments must be made first. Secondary priorities include health insurance premiums and medical support. After these payments have been made, then your employer should pay any court ordered support arrears. Except when an IRS tax lien was served before the child support order was entered, the law states that child support withholding takes priority over all other income attachments.

How Can We Help?

Struggling with overdue child support payments can create serious consequences for your financial future. If you need assistance dealing with your child support obligation, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our team of skilled Pasadena family law lawyers can help you apply to have your payments reduced or explain what your legal options are to deal with your debt obligation.