APA Supports State Legislation on Child Support Lump-Sum Payments
The APA Government Relations Task Force Child Support Subcommittee is supporting the Michigan and Washington child support agencies in preparing draft legislation to implement “Model Legislation on Managing Lump-Sum Payments for Child Support.”
The model was prepared in 2019 by the National Council of Child Support Directors with the APA and support from the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). It is designed as a best practice to create reasonable procedures for the management of lump-sum payments for child support. These procedures were identified after extensive research, surveys, and open discussion.
Reason for APA’s Position
When the idea for a model act came to APA’s attention in 2018, members expressed concern that collecting child support from lump-sum payments could interfere with employers’ interests in ensuring that employees receive their pay. This was especially true if the lump-sum amounts were intended as special awards to employees and for retaining talent. However, states were already requiring reporting and withholding with various procedures and collecting as much as 100% of the lump-sum amounts to pay for employees’ owed arrears.
In collaborating with states to develop the model legislation, the APA was neutral and remains neutral today on whether a state should establish a program. Instead, because states were already issuing orders for lump-sum payments and were moving forward with more programs, the best position for APA is to try and encourage states to adopt processes and procedures that make the most sense for payroll and to support states willing to listen to payroll professionals on those processes and procedures.
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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq., is Director of Government Relations for the APA.