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The Consumer Credit Protection Act (15 U.S.C. § 1673) limits the amount that can be deducted as child support or alimony from earnings. The limit ranges from 50 percent to 65 percent of disposable earnings. The full ordered amount of child support or alimony will be deducted as long as that amount does not exceed the maximum percentage allowable. The following is an explanation of when the different maximum percentages apply: 
 

  • 50 percent of disposable earnings is the maximum percentage allowable if the obligor provides proof that he/she is providing more than half the support of dependents other than those for whom the support is to be deducted, and if the payor has not accrued an arrearage.

  • 55 percent of disposable earnings is the maximum percentage allowable if the obligor provides proof that he/she is providing more than half the support of dependents other than for those whom the support is to be deducted, and if the payor has accrued an arrearage.

  • 60 percent of disposable earnings is the maximum percentage allowable if the obligor has not provided proof that he/she is providing more than half the support of dependents other than those for whom the support is to be deducted, and if the payor has not accrued an arrearage.

  • 65 percent of disposable earnings is the maximum percentage allowable if the obligor has not provided proof that he/she is providing more than half the support of dependents other than those for whom the support is to be deducted, and if the payor has accrued an arrearage.
15 U.S.C. § 1673(b)(2)(A) and (B)

THE PERCENTAGE AMOUNTS ABOVE WILL ONLY BE APPLIED IF THE PAYOR DOES NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT DISPOSABLE EARNINGS TO ALLOW FOR THE FULL ORDERED AMOUNT TO BE DEDUCTED. 

If the obligor has sufficient available disposable earnings, we will authorize the payment for the full amounts of all orders. If the military member or civilian employee's available disposable earnings are insufficient, and the Consumer Credit Protection Act limitations become applicable, federal law mandates that we allocate the available disposable earnings so that a pro rata (or proportionate) share of the available earnings is paid toward each obligation.

The pro-rated shares are calculated by dividing the amounts of each order by the total amount of disposable earnings available to determine what percentage of the available disposable earnings will be paid toward each obligation. DFAS' pro rata calculation process is very similar to the allocation procedures followed by most states and U.S. Territories. Allocating ensures that all children are at least partially provided for by the obligor.


Updated: April 1, 2011