There are three methods for paying support obligations in a family law matter: 1) you can pay the support obligation directly to the payee and be responsible for keeping detailed records of payments made and received; 2) you can pay your support obligation through the State Disbursement Unit and the State will then disburse the funds to the payee accordingly; or 3) your support can be automatically deducted from your wages by your employer and these monies will be filtered through the State Disbursement Unit and then disbursed to the payee.
This last option, known by most, as the Income Deduction Order or “IDO” method was recently changed. Effective as of May 31, 2012, Florida has transitioned from its use of the IDO to the Income Withholding Order (“IWO”), which is a federal mandated form. The purpose and effect of the IWO is the same as the IDO; however, the Federal IWO must be filed in every family case now where an IDO was previously used. A link to the IWO information is attached for reference as well as the promulgated form and instructions.
In addition to the Federal IWO, a party must also submit the Florida Addendum, which must also be served on the employer just like the former IDO and former Notice to Payor. The Florida Addendum is necessary because Florida law requires that employers be provided certain information that is not included in the federal form, and the federal law prohibits the IWO from being revised to include additional information.
Attached at the bottom of this post for reference are the Form Florida Addendum and Instructions, as well as a sample from the 13th Judicial Circuit. The party or practitioner should remember to send the IWO and the Florida Addendum to the obligor’s employer certified mail, return receipt requested and to then file the receipt in accordance with Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.996(c), Notice of Filing Return Receipt. That form is also attached for future use and reference.
Navigating through these forms and adherence to the Florida and Federal laws governing same is a complicated and serious process, and as such, it is recommended that you consult with a family law attorney with appropriate experience in this area to ensure that you are accurately following process and procedure.