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Income Withholding for Support Order (IWO)

An Income Withholding for Support Order (IWO) orders an employer to withhold child support, cash medical support, and/or spousal support/maintenance from an employee’s paycheck.

An IWO is always based on a separate order to the employee to pay support – usually as part of a divorce, paternity case, or suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR).

You may ask the court to sign an IWO if you are the person ordered to pay support or the person ordered to receive support. (Note: If the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Child Support Division is actively involved in your case, they will issue the IWO administratively.  Go to their website www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/parents if you have questions or want to apply for their services.)

What form do I use?  The Income Withholding for Support Order (IWO) form approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must be used in all cases.  No other IWO form can be used.

IWO form (with Texas options prefilled) – This is the required form.  To make it easier to use some options are prefilled for use by Texas Self-Represented Litigants ONLY.

Instructions – These instructions are designed to help you fill out the required IWO form.  Use these instructions with the sample IWO below. 

Sample IWO – Use this sample IWO with the instructions above.  Do not complete this form.  It is for reference only.

What do I do with the IWO form? Fill out the required IWO form online.  Print the IWO form.   If possible, hire an attorney to review your completed  IWO form.  Take the completed IWO form to the Judge who signed, or will sign, your order for child support, cash medical support or spousal support/spousal maintenance.  Ask the Judge to sign your IWO.  File your IWO in the District Clerk’s Office.  Ask the clerk to send your IWO to the employer of the person ordered to pay support.  

What if the person ordered to pay support gets a new job?  If your IWO is directed to “Any Employer/Income Withholder of Employee Named in Order,” simply ask the clerk’s office to send the IWO to the new employer of the person ordered to pay support.

If your IWO is directed to a specific employer, 1) get an Amended IWO signed by the Judge and  2) ask the clerk’s office to send the IWO to the new employer.  To get an Amended IWO use the required IWO form and follow the instructions above.  Be sure to check the “Amended IWO” box at the top of your new IWO. 

What if the support amount changes?  If the support amount ordered withheld changes, you must have an Amended IWO sent to the employer.

Example 1: Your current court order says child support decreases each time one of your children turns 18 and graduates from high school.  You must have an Amended IWO sent to the employer each time one of your children turns 18 and graduates from high school.

Example 2: The court modifies (changes) the child support amount and signs a new order.  You must have an Amended IWO that reflects the new child support amount sent to the employer.

To get an Amended IWO use the required IWO form and follow the instructions above.  Be sure to check the “Amended IWO” box at the top of your new IWO. 

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IMPORTANT: This basic information is not a substitute for the help and advice of an attorney.  It’s always best to talk with an attorney about how best to proceed in your particular case.  There are attorneys who will help you help yourself.  This means that you can hire the attorney just to give you advice, draft documents, review your forms, or help you prepare for a hearing.  This is called Limited Scope Representation.  You may then be able to complete other parts of your case yourself.  For help finding an attorney, contact your local lawyer referral service or the Lawyer Referral Information Service at www.TexasBar.com or 1(800) 252-9690.  You may also be able to find help through Legal Aid.  To find the Legal Aid office nearest you, go to www.TexasLawHelp.org and click on “Find Legal Assistance.”