Title 15: Domestic Relations
Chapter 11: ANNULMENT AND DIVORCE
15 V.S.A. § 789. Wage withholding exemptions; priorities and limitations
§ 789. Wage withholding exemptions; priorities and limitations
(a) A wage withholding order for a current support obligation or an obligation to pay support arrearages shall not be subject to Rule 4.2(j) of the Vermont Rules of Civil Procedure or 12 V.S.A. §§ 3167, 3169, 3170(a), (b) and (d). It shall be subject to section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1673(b)).
(b) A wage withholding order under this chapter shall have priority over other legal process against the same wages and shall be at least in the amount of the current support order. A wage withholding order for a current support obligation shall have priority over periodic payments to be applied to unpaid support arrearages, but shall not preclude withholding for both. No withholding for an arrearage may occur unless there is available income which is not exempt under section 303(b) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1673(b)).
(c) Wage withholding shall cease upon the termination of the obligation to pay current support or upon the repayment of all arrearages, whichever is later.
(d) If wage withholding is sought for repayment of outstanding arrearages in addition to support previously ordered, the additional amounts withheld for repayment shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the obligor's support obligation existing at the time of issuance of the wage withholding order.
(e) If arrearages exist after termination of the obligation to pay support, the amount withheld shall not be reduced until all arrearages are paid in full.
(f) If an obligor's outstanding arrearage increases by one-twelfth of the annual obligation, the office of child support may notify an employer to withhold an additional amount for repayment of any outstanding arrearage which has accumulated since the issuance of the most recent court order. The total wage withholding for arrearages shall not exceed 25 percent of the obligor's support obligation unless an additional amount is requested by the obligor.
(g) The office of child support shall not notify an employer to withhold an additional amount under subsection (f) of this section without first notifying the obligor of its intention to do so at the obligor's last known address as provided pursuant to subsection 783(b) of this title and giving the obligor 20 days to contest the withholding pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 4108 on the grounds the increase would be improper due to a mistake of fact. (Added 1983, No. 222 (Adj. Sess.); amended 1985, No. 63, § 13; 1989, No. 220 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1997, No. 63, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.)