Title 15
Domestic Relations

Chapter 16
Income Withholding

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-16-10

§ 15-16-10. Duties and liabilities of withholding agent.

(a) An income withholding agent shall remit to the clerk of the family court, or any other remittee as directed in the income withholding order, all amounts withheld from the income of an obligor within seven (7) days of the date the income was paid or payable to the obligor, and the income withholding agent shall specify the date and amount of each withholding included in the remittance, the social security number of the obligor, the child support account number, the employee’s name, and any other information as required if electronic transfer is utilized. The withholding agent may combine withheld amounts from two (2) or more obligors into a single payment, provided that the withholding agent separately identifies the individual obligors and the amount attributable to each obligor.

(b) An income withholding agent may deduct a fee of two dollars ($2.00) from the obligor’s remaining income for each payment made pursuant to an income withholding order under this chapter.

(c) The income withholding agent must notify the department, in writing, of the termination of the obligor’s employment within ten (10) days of the termination. Notice shall include the last known address of the obligor and the name and address of the obligor’s new employer, if known.

(d) Any withholding agent failing to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter may be punished by the family court or its magistrate for civil contempt. The court or its magistrate shall first afford the withholding agent a reasonable opportunity to purge itself of the contempt.

(e) Any withholding agent who fails or refuses to deliver income pursuant to an income withholding order issued under this chapter, when the withholding agent has had in its possession the income, shall be personally liable for the amount of the income which the withholding agent failed or refused to deliver, together with costs, interest, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

(f) Any withholding agent who dismisses, demotes, disciplines, refuses to hire, or in any way penalizes an obligor on account of any income withholding order issued under this chapter shall be liable to the obligor for all damages, together with costs, interest thereon, and reasonable attorney’s fees resulting from the action, and shall be subject to a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100). The withholding agent shall be required to make full restitution to the aggrieved obligor, including reinstatements and back pay.

(g) A withholding agent may be enjoined by a court of competent jurisdiction from continuing any action in violation of this chapter.

(h) Compliance by a withholding agent with an income withholding order issued under this chapter operates as a discharge of the withholding agent’s liability to the obligor as to that portion of the obligor’s income affected.

History of Section.
P.L. 1987, ch. 163, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 478, § 2; P.L. 1994, ch. 209, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 129, § 6; P.L. 1996, ch. 131, § 6; P.L. 1996, ch. 132, § 6; P.L. 1996, ch. 133, § 6; P.L. 1997, ch. 170, § 6; P.L. 1998, ch. 442, § 7; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 33.