Lump sum payments are benefits other than personal earnings that the obligor is receiving or is eligible to receive. These usually are payments made as bonuses or incentives generally given out during the year-end or Christmas season. The statute which allows the CSEA to garnish these payments does not treat social security benefits or vacation pay as eligible for garnishment under the lump sum definition.
Under Ohio law, payers/employers are required to notify the CSEA of a lump sum payment in the amount of $150 or more which they are about to make to an obligor for whom support is being withheld. The payer/employer is required to submit this notification to the CSEA no later than 45 days prior to the date such a payment is to be made or, in cases where this date cannot be met, the date on which that payer/employer determines that the lump sum payment is due to the obligor.
The payer/employer is then required to hold the lump sum payment for 30 days beyond the date on which this payment would otherwise have been paid to the obligor. During this period of time, the agency will determine if the obligor is in default under the support order or has any arrearages owed. If so, the support officer will issue an administrative order requiring the payer to transmit the lump sum payment to the CSEA. In cases where the obligor is not in default and does not have any outstanding arrearages, the support officer will issue an administrative order directing the payer to immediately pay the full amount of this lump sum payment to the obligor.
The above mentioned process is executed in cases governed by an administrative child support order. In cases governed by a court order, our support officers will recommend that the court issue an order requiring the payer to either remit this payment to the CSEA to satisfy the child support debt or to immediately pay it to the obligor.