Child Support

Child Support Services

What if a parent does not pay child support?

When a parent does not meet the child support obligation, the Division of Child Support (DCS) works to enforce the support order. Below is a list of some enforcement methods.

Wage Withholding/Income Withholding

If arrears are due or immediate income withholding is included in the order for support, DCS may issue a wage withholding order to the noncustodial parent's employer to withhold current support payments plus an additional amount to be applied to any past due support. A withholding order can also be used to collect child support if the noncustodial parent is receiving unemployment compensation. When served, the employer or payor of income is required to forward payments within seven days from the date the employee is paid or their property is withheld.

A prorated amount may be withheld, depending on the pay periods. The employer or payor cannot withhold more than 50 percent of the net income after mandatory deductions. Effective July 1, 2004, the employer or payor of income may assess a fee for withholding. The fee cannot exceed $3 per month and may not reduce the amount of child support withheld. The fee is deducted from the noncustodial parent's remaining net income and is not used in determining the 50 percent withholding limitation.

DCS relies primarily on employment records and new hire reporting information from the Department of Labor to obtain the noncustodial parent's most current employer.

Auto Withdrawal of Income

DCS may enter into alternative payment agreements with the noncustodial parent instead of issuing a wage withholding order to the employer. The noncustodial parent may enter into an authorization agreement which allows DCS to withdraw an amount equal to the current monthly child support obligation, plus an appropriate amount for arrears (if any exist) from his/her financial institution account.

New Hire Reporting

Employers must report basic information about all newly hired employees to the SD Department of Labor. Employers must provide this information within 20 days from the day the employee starts work.

Each state’s child support agency receives data provided through new hire reporting. Child Support staff use the information to locate noncustodial parents, establish or modify child support orders, and to enforce child support orders.

Credit Bureau Reporting

If a noncustodial parent owes at least $1,000 in past due child support, DCS reports the arrearage amount to credit bureau agencies. After the arrearages are paid, a zero balance will be reported to the credit bureau agencies. However, the zero balance will remain on the noncustodial parent's credit report for seven years.

Driver’s, Professional, Hunting and/or Fishing License Restriction

Driver’s, professional, hunting and/or fishing licenses may be restricted for noncustodial parents who:

  • Owe at least $1,000 in child support arrearages, and
  • Have not made any child support payments for three months, or
  • Have at least 3 months of child support arrearages that have not been reduced to judgment

The noncustodial parent is notified in writing when the restriction is placed on his or her license. In order for the restriction to be removed, the noncustodial parent has to either pay the past due balance in full or enter into a written payment plan with DCS. If the noncustodial parent does not comply with the payment plan, DCS may request revocation of the driver’s license.

Passport Denial

Passport applications may be denied if noncustodial parents:

  • Are at least $2,500 past due in their child support obligations

The U.S. State Department reviews passport applicants to see if they owe past due child support. The noncustodial parent must pay the past due support in full before the restriction will be lifted.

Tax Refund Intercept

DCS can collect past due child support from a noncustodial parent’s federal income tax refund. If the noncustodial parent does not have a tax refund coming, DCS will not be able to intercept an amount. South Dakota does not have a state income tax.

Other Income

If a noncustodial parent owes past due child support, DCS may withhold or intercept periodic or lump sum payments the noncustodial parent receives from state or local agencies, including: reemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and lottery winnings. DCS may also withhold assets held in financial institutions or in retirement funds.

Show Cause Hearings

DCS may refer cases to a prosecutor or a Special Assistant Attorney General for show cause hearings when a noncustodial parent has not paid any support obligation for a period of time. The court may find a noncustodial parent in contempt of court if the noncustodial parent has the ability to pay but is willfully not paying the child support obligations. This enforcement tool is used only when all others have failed.