Code of the District of Columbia

§ 46–208. Withholding.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of subchapter II or III of Chapter 5 of Title 16, where a notice or order to withhold is served on a holder of an obligor’s earnings or other income, the withholding shall be for an amount sufficient to satisfy the obligor’s periodic support obligation, an amount equal to 25% of the periodic support obligation if the obligor owes overdue support, and other costs or fees required by the support order.

(b) When an obligor is no longer subject to a periodic support obligation but owes overdue support, the withholding shall be for the amount of the obligor’s most recent periodic support obligation.

(c) Upon a motion by a party or the IV-D agency, the Court may order withholding of an amount that differs from the amount required for overdue support pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section if the Court finds that the amount required would:

(1) Cause a substantial hardship to the obligor; or

(2) Result in an unreasonable delay in the full payment of the overdue support.

(d) A notice or order to withhold served on a holder in accordance with this subchapter shall have priority over any other legal process under District law, and shall not exceed the limitations set forth under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, approved May 29, 1968 (82 Stat. 163; 15 U.S.C. § 1673(b)).

(e) The Collection and Disbursement Unit shall establish procedures for the prompt return to an obligor of any amounts it receives that have been improperly withheld.

(f) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to require a judicial or administrative hearing before the implementation of withholding.

(g) An order to withhold issued in accordance with this subchapter shall be binding on each present and future holder upon whom it is served until the holder is notified of its termination in writing by the Court or the IV-D agency. Upon a motion filed by a party or the IV-D agency, the Court may enforce an order to withhold issued by the IV-D agency in the same manner as the Court may enforce a judicial order, including civil contempt.

(h) Where a party or entity registers a support order entered in another jurisdiction for enforcement pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title, withholding shall be implemented in the same manner and subject to the same procedures as a support order entered in the District of Columbia.


(Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 9, 33 DCR 6710; Aug. 17, 1991, D.C. Law 9-39, § 4(b), 38 DCR 4970; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-269, § 108(h), 48 DCR 1270; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-205, § 3403(f), 51 DCR 8441; May 12, 2006, D.C. Law 16-100, § 3(h), 53 DCR 1886; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353,§ 111(b)(2), 56 DCR 1117.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 30-508.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 46-205 and § 46-210.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-269, in subsec. (c), rewrote the introductory paragraph which had read: “Notwithstanding §§ 46-209(a) and 46-210(e)(2), cases not subject to immediate withholding shall become subject to immediate withholding upon request, regardless of whether there is an arrearage, on the earliest of:”, deleted ’; or“ at the end of par. (2), added ”; or“ at the end of par. (3), and added a new par. (4); and added new subsecs. (d) and (e).

D.C. Law 15-205 rewrote subsec. (b); and, in subsecs. (c) and (e), substituted “Court” for “Collection and Disbursement Unit”. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) had read as follows: “(b) The Mayor shall establish a procedure for the prompt return to an obligor of any overpayment pursuant to § 46-227.”

D.C. Law 16-100 rewrote section, which had read:

“(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of subchapter II or III of Chapter 5 of Title 16, where a withholding is levied upon earnings or other income, the withholding shall:

“(1) Not exceed the limitations set forth under 15 U.S.C. § 1673(b);

“(2) Be binding upon each present and future holder upon whom a copy of the notice of withholding is served until the holder is notified of its termination; and

“(3) Have priority over any legal process under District law.

“(b) The Collection and Disbursement Unit shall establish procedures for the prompt return to an obligor of any amounts that have been improperly withheld.

“(c) The Court shall initiate withholding in cases not subject to immediate withholding pursuant to § 46-207(a-1) on the earliest of:

“(1) The date an absent parent requests the withholding;

“(2) The date a custodial parent requests the withholding and the IV-D agency approves the request;

“(3) Any earlier date the IV-D agency may select; or

“(4) The date on which arrearages equal one month of support payments.

“(d) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to require a judicial or administrative hearing before initiation of withholding.

“(e) At the request of a party or entity initiating a registration for enforcement of a support order entered in another jurisdiction pursuant to Chapter 3 of this title, the Court shall implement withholding in the same manner and subject to the same procedures as an order issued by a tribunal of the District of Columbia.”

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in the capitalization of “subchapter” in subsec. (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 7(f) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1997 (D.C. Act 12-222, December 23, 1997, 44 DCR 114).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 7(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-309, March 20, 45 DCR 309), § 7(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110), § 7(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-503, October 27, 1998, 45 DCR 8495), and § 7(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-600, January 20, 1999, 46 DCR 1239).

For temporary repeal of D.C. Law 12-103, see § 13 of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-439, August 12, 1998, 45 DCR 6110).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 107(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-126, August 4, 1999, 46 DCR 6606).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 107(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-177, November 2, 1999, 46 DCR 9678).

For temporary (90-day) amendment of section, see § 107(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-241, January 11, 2000, 47 DCR 581).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 107(h) of the Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Emergency Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-446, November 7, 2000, 47 DCR 9213).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 108(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-5, February 13, 2001, 48 DCR 2440).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3403(f) of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-486, August 2, 2004, 51 DCR 8236).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3403(f) of Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-594, October 26, 2004, 51 DCR 11725).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(i) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-167, July 26, 2005, 52 DCR 7648).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(i) of Income Withholding Transfer and Revision Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2005 (D.C. Act 16-200, November 17, 2005, 52 DCR 10490).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 7(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-210, April 13, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 3832).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 107(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-57, March 7, 2000, law notification 47 DCR 1979).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 107(h) of Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Temporary Amendment Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-207, March 31, 2001, law notification 48 DCR 3238).

Section 3(i) of D.C. Law 16-42 rewrote section to read as follows:

“Sec. 9. Withholding.

“(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of Subchapter II or III of Chapter 5 of Title 16, where a notice or order to withhold is served on a holder of an obligor’s earnings or other income, the withholding shall be for an amount sufficient to satisfy the obligor’s periodic support obligation, an amount equal to 25% of the periodic support obligation if the obligor owes overdue support, and other costs or fees required by the support order.

“(b) When an obligor is no longer subject to a periodic support obligation but owes overdue support, the withholding shall be for the amount of the obligor’s most recent periodic support obligation.

“(c) Upon a motion by a party or the IV-D agency, the Court may order withholding of an amount that differs from the amount required for overdue support pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section if the Court finds that the amount required would:

“(1) Cause a substantial hardship to the obligor; or

“(2) Result in an unreasonable delay in the full payment of the overdue support.

“(d) A notice or order to withhold served on a holder in accordance with this act shall have priority over any other legal process under District law, and shall not exceed the limitations set forth under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, approved May 29, 1968 (82 Stat. 163; 15 U.S.C. § 1673(b)).

“(e) The Collection and Disbursement Unit shall establish procedures for the prompt return to an obligor of any amounts it receives that have been improperly withheld.

“(f) Nothing in this act shall be construed to require a judicial or administrative hearing before the implementation of withholding.

“(g) An order to withhold issued in accordance with this act shall be binding on each present and future holder upon whom it is served until the holder is notified of its termination in writing by the Court or the IV-D agency. Upon a motion filed by a party or the IV-D agency, the Court may enforce an order to withhold issued by the IV-D agency in the same manner as the Court may enforce a judicial order, including civil contempt.

“(h) Where a party or entity registers a support order entered in another jurisdiction for enforcement pursuant to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act of 1995, effective February 9, 1996 (D.C. Law 11-81; D.C. Official Code § 46-301.01 et seq.), withholding shall be implemented in the same manner and subject to the same procedures as a support order entered in the District of Columbia.”

Section 5(b) of D.C. Law 16-42 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to Law 6-166, see Mayor’s Order 87-273, December 10, 1987.