Income Withholding

Income withholding is the preferred method of child support collection. When a child support order is established, the local county child support office will verify the paying parent’s employment and may issue an income withholding order (IWO). IWOs related to Non IV-D child support cases may be sent from a different source. The steps below outline how employers should withhold income for child support payments. 

Steps for Income Withholding

Begin withholding child support from the employee’s paycheck within 14 calendar days of the date listed on the top right corner of the IWO. Please provide a copy of the IWO to your employee. Child support IWOs will always take priority over other income garnishments, with one exception. If the employee has a tax levy in place, that must be paid before any child support. If you received the IWO before the tax levy was issued, then the child support should be withheld first.

Payments must be withheld each pay period and sent to the Colorado Family Support Registry (FSR) within seven business days of the payroll date.

When an IWO is issued, payments must be processed through the FSR. If payments are not directed to the FSR, please check the box on the second page and return the IWO to the sender.

When remitting payments to the FSR, please include the obligor’s (employee’s) name and remittance identifier (FSR account number). The remittance identifier can be found on the first page of the IWO.

If you need to send payments for multiple accounts, you may submit one total payment. Please indicate how the payments should be split and provide the obligors’ (employees’) names, FSR account numbers and the amount to be applied to each account.

If your employee does not earn enough to meet their support obligation, you must withhold a percentage of their disposable income. If the employee’s past due child support is less than 12 weeks old, please withhold 50%. If the employee’s past due child support is more than 12 weeks old, withhold 60% of the disposable income.

If your employee has multiple IWOs and cannot pay all the obligations in full, you will need to prioritize which FSR account will receive payment.

Changes in Employment

When an obligor’s employment ends, please contact the FSR via email, mail or phone. The fourth page of the IWO has a form that you may fill out and send in. The IWO will remain in place until you receive an official termination notice.

If you rehire an employee and have not received a termination of the IWO, then you should resume all income withholding and remit payments to the FSR.

If you receive an IWO from another state, please reference and follow the withholding law for the state where your employee lives and works. Review the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s Incoming Withholding Matrix for details on state withholding laws.

For more information on IWOs, please contact FSR Employer Customer Service at 800-696-1468 or cdhs_fsremployerservices@state.co.us.