Employer FAQ

When are child support payments due?

Payments must be received at the CSED within seven (7) business days from the date the employee is paid per state and federal law.

What priority does child support payments take compared to other wage deductions?

Child support payments are to be deducted from the employee’s income after taxes and mandatory deductions and prior to any assignments of income, voluntary deductions, and other court-ordered garnishments. MCA §40-5-310

I received more than one order for the same individual with different case numbers, do I need to send separate payments for each case?

No. You may locate the amount you should be withholding per your pay frequency (i.e. you pay your employees weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly) on each order, add the amounts together and submit one payment for your employee.

I received more than one order for the same individual with different case numbers, is this an error?

No. In order to offer employers the option of electronic income withholding orders (e-IWO) our processes have changed. You will now receive one order per case/custodial parent. If you have an employee with multiple cases you will receive multiple orders.

Check to see if the other case participants are different on each order. If they are the same on each order, contact the caseworker that sent you the order. The caseworker contact information can be found on the order.

I have multiple employees with child support garnishments, do I need to send separate payments for each employee?

No. You may submit one payment with multiple employees on it as long as a breakdown of the amounts are included with the payment along with name, case number or participant id, and the date the employees were paid.

If you pay online through Montana Interactive, you may have up to 15 people on one e-check.

What information should I send with a payment?

The employee's name, case number or participant id, and date the employee was paid must be included with each payment.

What should I do if I submit a payment with the wrong information?

Contact the CSED right away to get the payment stopped or corrected. Employer Liaison (406) 444-6893.

My employee says he/she does not owe child support, can I stop withholding?

No. No matter what an employee says, child support orders are valid until a termination order is received from the issuing agency. Continue to withhold and have your employee contact his/her caseworker if they feel the withholding is in error.

An employee with a child support order stopped working for our company or was terminated, what should I do?

Contact the agency that sent you the income withholding order right away. See Employee Terminations page for reporting options.

An employee with a child support garnishment stopped working for our company but has come back to work for us, do I need to begin withholding child support again?

Yes. Child support withholding orders are valid until you receive a termination order from the issuing agency. If an employee leaves employment and later returns to work for you, the child support withholding order is still valid unless terminated.

If it has been some time since the employee worked for you, contact the CSED or the agency that issued the income withholding order to see if an amended order is needed or if their child support case is still active. You may call the CSED Employer Liaison at (406) 444-6893 for assistance.

What does New Hire Reporting have to do with child support?

New Hire Reporting was created to help agencies locate parents, establish and enforce child support orders, and combat unemployment and welfare fraud.

State and federal law requires all employers to report all newly hired and rehired employees to the New Hire Reporting Program within twenty (20) days from the date the employee is hired or rehired, regardless of whether they have a child support obligation. To find out more about New Hire Reporting, please visit our New Hire Reporting page.

What will happen if I choose to not comply with the child support withholding order?

Per state law, employers may be held liable for all child support payments not withheld or submitted to the CSED within the timeframe allowed by law and could be subject to a fine of $500.00 per each count of contempt found. A separate contempt occurs each time an employer fails to withholding and remit child support payments from their employee’s income within the timeframe allowed by law. See Employer Contempt Process page.

Is there a fee I am allowed to keep from my employee for handling their withholding order?

Montana law allows an employer to withhold a $5.00 administrative fee per month per withholding order from the employee to help offset the cost of withholding. This fee would be deducted from the employee's disposable income, not the child support payment.

Does Montana CSED have a wage withholding limit?

Yes. It is Montana CSED policy to take up to 50% of disposable income after taxes and mandatory deductions if the employee is not making enough to satisfy the amount of the child support order. Child support withholding orders from other agencies may take up to 65%.

I have other garnishments against the same individual, how do I know which garnishment gets paid first?

Child support garnishments take priority over all other wage garnishments with few exceptions.

If a federal levy was in place prior to child support being established (not when the child support order was received) the federal levy has priority. To find out when the child support order was established, please contact the employees’ caseworker.  

Bankruptcy takes priority over child support garnishments. If a bankruptcy is received, please contact the employees’ caseworker.

In some special circumstances, some restitution for victims of crime take priority over child support garnishments. The order will have specific state statue language on it declaring this. Please contact the employees caseworker if you receive such an order.

Can I receive a child support order from someone other than a state agency?

Yes. Employers may receive a child support withholding order on the federally approved income withholding order form through an attorney, clerk of court, another state’s IV-D agency or a Tribal IV-D agency.

I received multiple child support orders for the same employee from different states, which order do I follow?

Payments are to be prorated between child support withholding orders with current amounts being paid first, arrears second.

If you have questions, please contact the CSED Employer Liaison at (406) 444-6893.

What address do I send child support payments to?

Please send payments to the agency that issued the child support order. The specific address to send payments to is located on the order.

For Montana CSED withholding orders, you may make payments online through Montana Interactive, by EFT, or check. Please see the Child Support Payments page for address information.

What is the National Medical Support Notice that I received?

The NMSN or Order to Enroll in Health Coverage is a medical child support order and can be issued for either parent. It requires employers to enroll the child(ren) on the order under the employee’s insurance plan.

I received a National Medical Support Notice but I do not offer insurance to my employees, what should I do?

Return the form to the CSED or issuing agency with a note stating your company does not offer insurance to your employees. If you have any questions, please use the caseworker contact information on the form.