Interest on Child Support Arrears

4/8/2019

ChildrenMany parents who owe child support miss payments and accrue some amount of debt or arrearage. States have the authority to charge interest on unpaid support at the rate set by state statute. The interest is generally determined in the same way as other civil judgments. States may look at interest on child support arrears as both an incentive to encourage timely payments as well as a penalty for those who do not make payments.

Thirty-five states, Guam and Puerto Rico authorize interest charges for child support arrears. Many charge interest at set rates per year:

  • 12% per annum: Colorado, Kentucky and Washington
  • 10% per annum: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Iowa and Wyoming
  • 9% per annum: Illinois, New York and Oregon
  • 6% per annum: Alaska, Guam, Maine, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin
  • 4% per annum: Minnesota and New Mexico
  • Dependent on Market Factors: Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio and Puerto Rico.
  • Other: Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and West Virginia.

The following table describes each state’s policy on charging interest.

Interest on Child Support Arrears
State Interest on Arrears Summary Statute

Alabama

 

Yes

 

Until Sept. 1, 2011: 12% interest on the unpaid principle balance at the end of each month.

After Sept. 1, 2011: 7.5% interest on the unpaid principle balance at the end of each month.  

Ala. Code § 8-8-10

(a) Judgments for the payment of money, other than costs, if based upon a contract action, bear interest from the day of the cause of action, at the same rate of interest as stated in the contract; all other judgments shall bear interest at the rate of 7.5 percent per annum, the provisions of Section 8-8-1 to the contrary notwithstanding; provided, that fees allowed a trustee, executor, administrator, or attorney and taxed as a part of the cost of the proceeding shall bear interest at a like rate from the day of entry.

(b) This section shall apply to all judgments entered on and after Sept. 1, 2011.

Alaska

Yes

6% per annum, charged the end of the month the support was due and not paid.

Alaska Stat. § 25.27.025

The rate of interest imposed under AS 25.27.020(a)(2)(B) shall be six percent a year or a lesser rate that is the maximum rate of interest permitted to be imposed under federal law.

Arizona

Yes

 

10% simple interest per annum

Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-510

E. In calculating support arrearages not reduced to a final written money judgment, interest accrues at the rate of 10% per annum beginning at the end of the month following the month in which the support payment is due, and interest accrues only on the principal and not on interest. A support arrearage reduced to a final written money judgment accrues interest at the rate of 10% per annum and accrues interest only on the principal and not on interest.

Arkansas

Yes

10% per annum

 

Ark. Code § 9-14-233

(a) All child support that becomes due and remains unpaid shall accrue interest at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum unless the owner of the judgment or the owner's counsel of record requests prior to the accrual of the interest that the judgment shall not accrue interest.

California

Yes

10% per annum. Interest accrues beginning the first day of the month following either the date the installment is due (if payable in installments), or from the date of entry of judgment.

 

Cal. Civ. Pro. § 685.010

(a) Interest accrues at the rate of 10% per annum on the principal amount of a money judgment remaining unsatisfied.

(b) The Legislature reserves the right to change the rate of interest provided in subdivision (a) at any time to a rate of less than 10% per annum, regardless of the date of entry of the judgment or the date any obligation upon which the judgment is based was incurred. A change in the rate of interest may be made applicable only to the interest that accrues after the operative date of the statute that changes the rate.

Colorado

Yes

Prior to June 30, 1975: 6% simple interest

July 1, 1975, through June 30, 1979: 8% simple interest

July 1, 1979, through June 30, 1986: 8% compounded interest

July 1, 1986, through the present: 12 percent compounded interest.

 

Up to counties whether they want to charge interest at above amounts.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 5-12-101. Legal rate of interest

If there is no agreement or provision of law for a different rate, the interest on money shall be at the rate of eight percent per annum, compounded annually.

 

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-14-106

Interest per annum at four percent greater than the statutory rate set forth in section 5-12-101, C.R.S., on any arrearages and child support debt due and owing may be compounded monthly and may be collected by the judgment creditor; however, such interest may be waived by the judgment creditor, and such creditor shall not be required to maintain interest balance due accounts.

Connecticut

No

 

 

Delaware

No

 

 

District of Columbia

No

 

 

Florida

Yes

The Clerk of Court calculates interest for final judgments only.

 

Interest rates are determined annually by the state's Chief Financial Officer.

 

Fla. Stat. § 55.03

(1) On Dec. 1, March 1, June 1, and Sept. 1 of each year, the Chief Financial Officer shall set the rate of interest that shall be payable on judgments or decrees for the calendar quarter beginning Jan. 1 and adjust the rate quarterly on April 1, July 1, and Oct. 1 by averaging the discount rate of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for the preceding 12 months, then adding 400 basis points to the averaged federal discount rate. The Chief Financial Officer shall inform the clerk of the courts and chief judge for each judicial circuit of the rate that has been established for the upcoming quarter. The interest rate established by the Chief Financial Officer shall take effect on the first day of each following calendar quarter. Judgments obtained on or after Jan. 1, 1995, shall use the previous statutory rate for time periods before Jan. 1, 1995, for which interest is due and shall apply the rate set by the Chief Financial Officer for time periods after Jan. 1, 1995, for which interest is due. Nothing contained herein shall affect a rate of interest established by written contract or obligation.

Georgia

Yes

Prior to Dec. 31, 2006: 12% per year.

Since Jan. 1, 2007: 7% per year

Ga. Code § 7-4-12.1

(a) All awards, court orders, decrees, or judgments rendered pursuant to Title 19 expressed in monetary amounts shall accrue interest at the rate of 7 percent per annum commencing 30 days from the date such award, court order, decree, or judgment is entered or an installment payment is due, as applicable. The court may modify the date on which interest shall begin to accrue. It shall not be necessary for the party to whom the child support is due to reduce any such award to judgment in order to recover such interest. The court shall have discretion in applying or waiving past due interest. In determining whether to apply, waive, or reduce the amount of interest owed, the court shall consider whether:

(1) Good cause existed for the nonpayment of the child support;

(2) Payment of the interest would result in substantial and unreasonable hardship for the parent owing the interest;

(3) Applying, waiving, or reducing the interest would enhance or detract from the parent's current ability to pay child support, including the consideration of the regularity of payments made for current child support of those dependents for whom support is owed; and

(4) The waiver or reduction of interest would result in substantial and unreasonable hardship to the parent to whom interest is owed.

Guam

Yes

Prior to Jan. 1, 2008: 12% per annum

Since Jan. 1, 2008: 6% per annum

 

Hawaii

No

 

 

Idaho

No

 

 

Illinois

Yes

9% per annum.
 

 

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 735, § 5/12-109

(a) Every judgment except those arising by operation of law from child support orders shall bear interest thereon as provided in Section 2-1303.

(b) Every judgment arising by operation of law from a child support order shall bear interest as provided in this subsection. The interest on judgments arising by operation of law from child support orders shall be calculated by applying one-twelfth of the current statutory interest rate as provided in Section 2-1303 to the unpaid child support balance as of the end of each calendar month. The unpaid child support balance at the end of the month is the total amount of child support ordered, excluding the child support that was due for that month to the extent that it was not paid in that month and including judgments for retroactive child support, less all payments received and applied as set forth in this subsection. The accrued interest shall not be included in the unpaid child support balance when calculating interest at the end of the month. The unpaid child support balance as of the end of each month shall be determined by calculating the current monthly child support obligation and applying all payments received for that month, except federal income tax refund intercepts, first to the current monthly child support obligation and then applying any payments in excess of the current monthly child support obligation to the unpaid child support balance owed from previous months. The current monthly child support obligation shall be determined from the document that established the support obligation. Federal income tax refund intercepts and any payments in excess of the current monthly child support obligation shall be applied to the unpaid child support balance. Any payments in excess of the current monthly child support obligation and the unpaid child support balance shall be applied to the accrued interest on the unpaid child support balance. Interest on child support obligations may be collected by any means available under State law for the collection of child support judgments.

 

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 735, § 5/2-1303

Interest on judgment. Judgments recovered in any court shall draw interest at the rate of 9% per annum from the date of the judgment until satisfied or 6% per annum when the judgment debtor is a unit of local government, as defined in Section 1 of Article VII of the Constitution, a school district, a community college district, or any other governmental entity. When judgment is entered upon any award, report or verdict, interest shall be computed at the above rate, from the time when made or rendered to the time of entering judgment upon the same and included in the judgment. Interest shall be computed and charged only on the unsatisfied portion of the judgment as it exists from time to time. The judgment debtor may by tender of payment of judgment, costs and interest accrued to the date of tender, stop the further accrual of interest on such judgment notwithstanding the prosecution of an appeal, or other steps to reverse, vacate or modify the judgment.

Indiana

No

 

 

Iowa

Yes

10% interest

Iowa Code § 252C.6

Interest accrues on support debts at the rate provided in section 535.3 for court judgments. The administrator may collect the accrued interest but is not required to maintain interest balance accounts. The department may waive payment of the interest if the waiver will facilitate the collection of the support debt.

 

Iowa Code § 535.3

1. a. Interest shall be allowed on all money due on judgments and decrees of courts at a rate calculated according to section 668.13.

b. Notwithstanding paragraph “a”, interest due pursuant to section 85.30 shall accrue from the date each compensation payment is due at an annual rate equal to the one-year treasury constant maturity published by the federal reserve in the most recent H15 report settled as of the date of injury, plus two percent.

2. Interest on periodic payments for child, spousal, or medical support shall not accrue until thirty days after the payment becomes due and owing and shall accrue at a rate of ten percent per annum thereafter. Additionally, interest on these payments shall not accrue on amounts being paid through income withholding pursuant to chapter 252D for the time these payments are unpaid solely because the date on which the payor of income withholds income based upon the payor's regular pay cycle varies from the provisions of the support order.

Kansas

No

 

 

Kentucky

Yes

Generally, no, but statute allows interest to be charged at the rate of 12% compounded annually from the date of a judgment.

 

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 360.040

(2) A judgment for unpaid child support payments shall bear twelve percent (12%) interest compounded annually from the date the judgment is entered.

Louisiana

No

 

 

Maine

No

6% per annum, although the state does not generally charge interest

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 19-A, § 2354

Interest of 6% per year on any support debt due or owing to the department under section 2301 may be collected by the commissioner.

Maryland

No

 

 

Massachusetts

Yes

Prior to July 1, 2010: 1% per month

Since July 1, 2010: 0.5% per month

Mass. Child Support Enforcement Division, Interest and penalties on past-due child support

Michigan

Yes

Judicial discretion at 1% plus the average interest rate paid at auctions of five-year U.S. Treasure notes.

 

Mich. Comp. Laws § 552.603a

Sec. 3a. (1) Subject to subsection (6), for a friend of the court case, if the court determines that the payer has failed to pay support under a support order and the failure was willful, the court may order that on January 1 and July 1 of each year, a surcharge be added to support payments that are past due as of those dates. The surcharge shall be calculated at six-month intervals at an annual rate of interest equal to 1% plus the average interest rate paid at auctions of five-year United States treasury notes during the six months immediately preceding July 1 and Jan. 1, as certified by the state treasurer. The amount of the surcharge shall not compound. The amount shown as due and owing on the records of the friend of the court as of Jan. 1 and July 1 of each year shall be reduced by an amount equal to one month's support for purposes of assessing the surcharge. Except as provided in subsection (5), a surcharge ordered by the court applies until abated by the court.

Minnesota

Yes

4% per annum.
 

 

Minn. Stat. § 549.09

(c)(1)(i) For a judgment or award of $50,000 or less or a judgment or award for or against the state or a political subdivision of the state, regardless of the amount, or a judgment or award in a family court action, regardless of the amount, the interest shall be computed as simple interest per annum. The rate of interest shall be based on the secondary market yield of one-year United States Treasury bills, calculated on a bank discount basis as provided in this section.

 

On or before the 20th day of December of each year the state court administrator shall determine the rate from the one-year constant maturity treasury yield for the most recent calendar month, reported on a monthly basis in the latest statistical release of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System. This yield, rounded to the nearest one percent, or four percent, whichever is greater, shall be the annual interest rate during the succeeding calendar year. The state court administrator shall communicate the interest rates to the court administrators and sheriffs for use in computing the interest on verdicts and shall make the interest rates available to arbitrators.

 

This item applies to any section that references section 549.09 by citation for the purposes of computing an interest rate on any amount owed to or by the state or a political subdivision of the state, regardless of the amount.

Mississippi

No

 

Miss. Code § 93-11-71

(1) Whenever a court orders any person to make periodic payments of a sum certain for the maintenance or support of a child, and whenever such payments as have become due remain unpaid for a period of at least 30 days, a judgment by operation of law shall arise against the obligor in an amount equal to all payments that are then due and owing.

(a) A judgment arising under this section shall have the same effect and be fully enforceable as any other judgment entered in this state. A judicial or administrative action to enforce the judgment may be begun at any time; and

(b) Such judgments arising in other states by operation of law shall be given full faith and credit in this state.

Missouri

Yes

1% per month

 

Mo. Rev. Stat. § 454.520

1. All delinquent child support and maintenance payments which have accrued based upon judgments or orders of courts of this state entered prior to Sept. 29, 1979, shall draw interest at the rate of six percent per annum through Sept. 28, 1979; at the rate of 9% per annum from Sept. 29, 1979, through Aug. 31, 1982; and thereafter at the rate of one percent per month.

Montana

No

 

 

Nebraska

Yes

Fixed at a rate equivalent yield of the average accepted auction price for the last auction of one-year Treasury bills.

 

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 45-103

For decrees and judgments rendered before July 20, 2002, interest on decrees and judgments for the payment of money shall be fixed at a rate equal to one percentage point above the bond equivalent yield, as published by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, of the average accepted auction price for the last auction of fifty-two-week United States Treasury bills in effect on the date of entry of the judgment. For decrees and judgments rendered on and after July 20, 2002, interest on decrees and judgments for the payment of money shall be fixed at a rate equal to two percentage points above the bond investment yield, as published by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, of the average accepted auction price for the first auction of each annual quarter of the twenty-six-week United States Treasury bills in effect on the date of entry of the judgment. The State Court Administrator shall distribute notice of such rate and any changes to it to all Nebraska judges to be in effect two weeks after the date the auction price is published by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. This interest rate shall not apply to:

(1) An action in which the interest rate is specifically provided by law; or

(2) An action founded upon an oral or written contract in which the parties have agreed to a rate of interest other than that specified in this section.

Nevada

Yes

Interest is charged at the prime rate at the largest bank in Nevada plus two percent.

 

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 125B.140

(c) The court shall determine and include in its order:

(1) Interest upon the arrearages at a rate established pursuant to NRS 99.040, from the time each amount became due; and

(2) A reasonable attorney's fee for the proceeding,

 

unless the court finds that the responsible parent would experience an undue hardship if required to pay such amounts. Interest continues to accrue on the amount ordered until it is paid, and additional attorney's fees must be allowed if required for collection.

 

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 99.040

1. When there is no express contract in writing fixing a different rate of interest, interest must be allowed at a rate equal to the prime rate at the largest bank in Nevada, as ascertained by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions, on January 1 or July 1, as the case may be, immediately preceding the date of the transaction, plus 2 percent, upon all money from the time it becomes due, in the following cases:

(a) Upon contracts, express or implied, other than book accounts.

(b) Upon the settlement of book or store accounts from the day on which the balance is ascertained.

(c) Upon money received to the use and benefit of another and detained without his or her consent.

(d) Upon wages or salary, if it is unpaid when due, after demand therefor has been made.

 

The rate must be adjusted accordingly on each Jan. 1 and July 1 thereafter until the judgment is satisfied.

New Hampshire

No

 

 

New Jersey

No

 

 

New Mexico

Yes

Since May 19, 2004: 4%

June 18, 1993, to May 18, 2004: 8.75%;

June 17, 1983, to June 17, 1993: 15%

 

N.M. Stat. § 40-4-7.3

A. Interest shall accrue on delinquent child support at the rate of four percent and spousal support at the rate set forth in Section 56-8-4 NMSA 1978 in effect when the support payment becomes due and shall accrue from the date the support is delinquent until the date the support is paid.

New York

Yes

9% on arrearages reduced to a money judgment by court.

 

N.Y. Civ. Practice Law and Rules § 5004

Interest shall be at the rate of nine per centum per annum, except where otherwise provided by statute.

North Carolina

No

 

 

North Dakota

Yes

The interest rate is equal to the prime rate as published in the Wall Street Journal on the first Monday in December of each year plus three percentage points and rounded up to the next one-half percentage point.

 

For calendar year 2019, the interest rate is 8.5%.

N.D. Cent. Code § 28-20-34

Interest is payable on judgments entered in the courts of this state at the same rate as is provided in the original instrument upon which the action resulting in the judgment is based, which rate may not exceed the maximum rate provided in section 47-14-09. If such original instrument contains no provision as to an interest rate, or if the action resulting in the judgment was not based upon an instrument, interest is payable at the rate of 12% per annum through Dec. 31, 2005. Beginning Jan. 1, 2006, the interest is payable at a rate equal to the prime rate published in the Wall Street Journal on the first Monday in December of each year plus three percentage points rounded up to the next one-half percentage point and may not be compounded in any manner or form. On or before the 20th day of December each year, the state court administrator shall determine the rate and shall transmit notice of that rate to all clerks of court and to the state bar association of North Dakota. As established, the rate shall be in effect beginning the first day of the following January through the last day of December in each year. Except as otherwise provided in this section, interest on all judgments entered in the courts of this state before Jan. 1, 2006, must remain at the rate per annum which was legally prescribed at the time the judgments were entered, and such interest may not be compounded in any manner or form. Interest on unpaid child support obligations must be calculated under section 14-09-25 according to the rate currently in effect under this section regardless of the date the obligations first became due and unpaid.

Ohio

Yes

The court shall assess interest on the amount of support an obligor failed to pay if the court determines the failure to be willful and the arrears accrued after July 15, 1992.
 

Ohio Rev. Code § 3123.171

When a court renders a money judgment for child support, pursuant to a motion for a lump sum judgment filed by an obligee, interest shall accrue on that arrearage unless the court finds that it would be inequitable to assess interest. The interest shall accrue from the date the judgment is rendered to a date certain set for payment of the judgment at a rate specified in section 1343.03 of the Revised Code at the time the judgment is rendered. A court may assess interest on a child support arrearage prior to judgment pursuant to section 3123.17 of the Revised Code. The court shall enter the amount due, including interest, in the journal. If interest is not assessed, the court shall enter the reasons for not assessing interest in the journal.

 

Ohio Rev. Code § 1343.03

(A) In cases other than those provided for in sections 1343.01 and 1343.02 of the Revised Code, when money becomes due and payable upon any bond, bill, note, or other instrument of writing, upon any book account, upon any settlement between parties, upon all verbal contracts entered into, and upon all judgments, decrees, and orders of any judicial tribunal for the payment of money arising out of tortious conduct or a contract or other transaction, the creditor is entitled to interest at the rate per annum determined pursuant to section 5703.47 of the Revised Code, unless a written contract provides a different rate of interest in relation to the money that becomes due and payable, in which case the creditor is entitled to interest at the rate provided in that contract.

(B) Except as provided in divisions (C) and (D) of this section and subject to section 2325.18 of the Revised Code, interest on a judgment, decree, or order for the payment of money rendered in a civil action based on tortious conduct or a contract or other transaction, including, but not limited to a civil action based on tortious conduct or a contract or other transaction that has been settled by agreement of the parties, shall be computed from the date the judgment, decree, or order is rendered to the date on which the money is paid and shall be at the rate determined pursuant to section 5703.47 of the Revised Code that is in effect on the date the judgment, decree, or order is rendered. That rate shall remain in effect until the judgment, decree, or order is satisfied.

 

Ohio Rev. Code § 5703.47

(A) As used in this section, “federal short-term rate” means the rate of the average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity of three years or less, as determined under section 1274 of the “Internal Revenue Code of 1986,” 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 1274, for July of the current year.

(B) On the fifteenth day of October of each year, the tax commissioner shall determine the federal short-term rate. For purposes of any section of the Revised Code requiring interest to be computed at the rate per annum required by this section, the rate determined by the commissioner under this section, rounded to the nearest whole number percent, plus 3%, shall be the interest rate per annum used in making the computation for interest that accrues during the following calendar year. For the purposes of sections 5719.041 and 5731.23 of the Revised Code, references to the “federal short-term rate” are references to the federal short-term rate as determined by the tax commissioner under this section rounded to the nearest whole number percent.

(C) Within 10 days after the interest rate per annum is determined under this section, the tax commissioner shall notify the auditor of each county of that rate of interest.

Oklahoma

Yes

Since Nov. 1, 2016: 2% per year

Prior to Nov. 1, 2016: 10% per year

 

Okla. Stat. tit. 43, § 114

Court-ordered past-due child support payments, court-ordered payments of suit monies and judgments for support pursuant to Section 83 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes and Sections 238.1 and 238.6B of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall draw interest at the rate of 2% per year. Past-due child support payments accruing after the establishment of the current support order shall draw interest from the date they become delinquent. Lump-sum judgments pursuant to Titles 10 and 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes for support owed prior to the establishment of current support shall draw interest from the first day of the month after the lump-sum judgment is entered. The interest shall be collected in the same manner as the payments upon which the interest accrues.

Oregon

Yes

9% simple interest rate for judgments

 

Or. Rev. Stat. § 82.010

(2) Except as provided in this subsection, the rate of interest on judgments for the payment of money is nine percent per annum. The following apply as described:

(a) Interest on a judgment under this subsection accrues from the date of the entry of the judgment unless the judgment specifies another date.

(b) Interest on a judgment under this subsection is simple interest, unless otherwise provided by contract.

(c) Interest accruing from the date of the entry of a judgment shall also accrue on interest that accrued before the date of entry of a judgment.

(d) Interest under this subsection shall also accrue on attorney fees and costs entered as part of the judgment.

(e) A judgment on a contract bearing more than nine percent interest shall bear interest at the same rate provided in the contract as of the date of entry of the judgment.

(f) The rate of interest on a judgment rendered in favor of a plaintiff in a civil action to recover damages for injuries resulting from the professional negligence of a person licensed by the Oregon Medical Board under ORS chapter 677 or the Oregon State Board of Nursing under ORS 678.010 to 678.410 is the lesser of five percent per annum or three percent in excess of the discount rate in effect at the Federal Reserve Bank in the Federal Reserve district where the injuries occurred.

Pennsylvania

No

 

 

Puerto Rico

Yes

Interest rate determined by the Financial Institutions Commissioner.

 

Rhode Island

Yes

1% per month on unpaid principle balance

 

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-5-16.5

Interest at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per annum on any support debt due or owing, child or spousal support, shall be assessed unless the responsible party shall, for good cause shown, be relieved of the obligation to pay interest by the family court.

South Carolina

No

 

 

South Dakota

No

South Dakota Division of Child Support (DCS) does not compute interest. However, the obligee can initiate a court action to obtain a judgment for interest. The court has the discretion as to whether or not to grant the interest judgment.

 

Interest is computed at 1% per month

 

S.D. Codified Laws § 25-7A-14

The Department of Social Services or any support obligee may collect interest on the unpaid principal balance of a support debt or judgment for support at the Category D rate of interest as established in § 54-3-16.

 

S.D. Codified Laws § 54-3-16

The official state interest rates, as referenced throughout the South Dakota Codified Laws, are as follows:

(4) Category D rate of interest is one percent per month or fraction thereof;

Tennessee

Yes

12% per year

 

Interest shall no longer accrue on or after April 17, 2017, unless the court makes a written finding that interest shall continue to accrue.

 

In making such finding, the court shall set the rate at which interest shall accrue after consideration of any factors the court deems relevant; provided, that the interest rate shall be no more than 6% per year.

Tenn. Code § 36-5-101

(f)(1)(A) Any order for child support shall be a judgment entitled to be enforced as any other judgment of a court of this state and shall be entitled to full faith and credit in this state and in any other state. Except as provided in subdivision (f)(6), such judgment shall not be subject to modification as to any time period or any amounts due prior to the date that an action for modification is filed and notice of the action has been mailed to the last known address of the opposing parties. If the full amount of child support is not paid by the date when the ordered support is due, the unpaid amount that is in arrears, shall become a judgment for the unpaid amounts, and shall accrue interest pursuant to subdivision (f)(1)(B). All interest that accumulates on arrearages shall be considered child support. Computation of interest shall not be the responsibility of the clerk.

(B)(i) Interest on unpaid child support that is in arrears shall accrue from the date of the arrearage at the rate of twelve percent (12%) per year; provided, that interest shall no longer accrue on or after April 17, 2017, unless the court makes a written finding that interest shall continue to accrue. In making such finding, the court shall set the rate at which interest shall accrue after consideration of any factors the court deems relevant; provided, that the interest rate shall be no more than 4% per year.

(ii) On or after July 1, 2018, interest on arrearages in non-Title IV-D cases shall accrue at the rate of six percent (6%) per year; provided, however, that the court, in its discretion, may reduce the rate of interest to a lower interest rate, including no interest, as deemed appropriate under the circumstances. In making its determination, the court may consider any factors the court deems relevant.

(iii) On or after July 1, 2018, interest shall not accrue on arrearages in Title IV-D cases unless the court makes a written finding that interest shall continue to accrue. In making such finding, the court shall set the rate at which interest shall accrue after consideration of any factors the court deems relevant; provided, that the interest rate shall be no more than six percent (6%) per year.

Texas

Yes

6% simple interest per year

 

Tex. Fam. Code § 157.265

(a) Interest accrues on the portion of delinquent child support that is greater than the amount of the monthly periodic support obligation at the rate of six percent simple interest per year from the date the support is delinquent until the date the support is paid or the arrearages are confirmed and reduced to money judgment.

(b) Interest accrues on child support arrearages that have been confirmed and reduced to money judgment as provided in this subchapter at the rate of six percent simple interest per year from the date the order is rendered until the date the judgment is paid.

(c) Interest accrues on a money judgment for retroactive or lump-sum child support at the annual rate of 6% simple interest from the date the order is rendered until the judgment is paid.

(d) Subsection (a) applies to a child support payment that becomes due on or after Jan. 1, 2002.

(e) Child support arrearages in existence on Jan. 1, 2002, that were not confirmed and reduced to a money judgment on or before that date accrue interest as follows:

(1) Before Jan. 1, 2002, the arrearages are subject to the interest rate that applied to the arrearages before that date; and

(2) On and after Jan. 1, 2002, the cumulative total of arrearages and interest accumulated on those arrearages described by Subdivision (1) is subject to Subsection (a).

(f) Subsections (b) and (c) apply to a money judgment for child support rendered on or after Jan. 1, 2002. A money judgment for child support rendered before that date is governed by the law in effect on the date the judgment was rendered, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.

Utah

No

 

 

Vermont

Yes

Since Jan. 1, 2012: 6% simple interest per annum

 

Vt. Stat. tit. 15, § 606

(d)(1) In lieu of interest on unpaid child support which has accrued under a child support order, a child support surcharge shall be imposed on past-due child support. Beginning July 1, 2004, the surcharge shall be computed and assessed monthly at a rate of one percent or an annual rate of 12% and shall not be compounded. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the surcharges shall be computed and assessed monthly at a rate of .5% or an annual rate of 6% and shall not be compounded. All surcharges shall be deemed principal and not interest. Payments received for child support obligations shall be allocated and distributed as follows:

(A) First to current support obligations;

(B) Second to arrearages; and

(C) Third to surcharge arrears.

Virginia

Yes

6% per annum

Va. Code § 63.2-1951

The Department shall pay interest to the payee as provided in this section on certain spousal or child support payments it collects which have been ordered by a court or established by administrative order to be paid to or through the Department to the payee and for which the Department has an assignment of rights or has been given an authorization to seek or enforce a support obligation as those terms are defined in §§ 63.2-100 and 63.2-1900. Such interest shall accrue, at the legal rate as established by § 6.2-301, on all support payments collected by the Department and paid to the payee more than thirty days following the end of the month in which the payment was received by the Department in nonpublic assistance cases. Interest shall be charged to the Department on such payments if the Department has an established case and if the obligor or payor provides identifying information including the Department case number or the noncustodial parent's name and correct social security number.

 

Va. Code § 6.2-301

A. The legal rate of interest shall be an annual rate of 6%.

Virgin Islands

No

 

 

Washington

Yes

12% on judgments

Wash. Rev. Stat. § 4.56.110

(2) All judgments for unpaid child support that have accrued under a superior court order or an order entered under the administrative procedure act shall bear interest at the rate of 12%.

West Virginia

Yes

Since Jul. 1, 2008: 5% per annum simple interest

Jul. 1, 1995, through June 30, 2008: 10% per annum simple interest

W.Va. Code § 48-1-302

(a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of the code, if an obligation to pay interest arises under this chapter, the rate of interest is 5% per annum and proportionate thereto for a greater or lesser sum, or for a longer or shorter time. Interest awarded shall only be simple interest and nothing in this section may be construed to permit awarding of compound interest. Interest accrues only upon the outstanding principal of such obligation.

Wisconsin

Yes

0.5% per month (6% per year)

Wis. Stat. § 767.511

(6) Interest on arrearage. Subject to sub. (6m), a party ordered to pay child support under this section shall pay simple interest at the rate of 1 percent per month on any amount in arrears that is equal to or greater than the amount of child support due in one month. Subject to sub. (6m), if the party no longer has a current obligation to pay child support, interest at the rate of 1% per month shall accrue on the total amount of child support in arrears, if any. Interest under this subsection is in lieu of interest computed under s. 807.01(4), 814.04(4), or 815.05(8) and is paid to the department or its designee under s. 767.57. Except as provided in s. 767.57(1m) and except as required under federal statutes or regulations, the department or its designee shall apply all payments received for child support as follows:

(a) First, to payment of child support due within the calendar month during which the payment is received.

(b) Second, to payment of unpaid child support due before the payment is received.

(c) Third, to payment of interest accruing on unpaid child support.

Wyoming

Yes

10% interest may be charged on amount reduced to judgment.
 

 

Wyo. Stat. 1-16-103

(a) As used in this section “judgment by operation of law” means a periodic payment or installment for child support or maintenance which is unpaid on the date due and which has become a judgment by operation of law pursuant to W.S. 14-2-204.

(b) Any judgment by operation of law which is not paid within 32 calendar days from the date the judgment by operation of law arises is subject to an automatic late payment penalty in an amount equal to 10% of the amount of the judgment by operation of law.

(c) In order to recover penalties assessed under subsection (b) of this section, the obligee shall file with the clerk of court a sworn affidavit setting forth the payment history resulting in assessment of any penalty and a computation of all penalties claimed to be due and owing. It shall not be the responsibility of the clerk to compute the amount of the penalties due and owing. If the obligor disputes the payment history or penalty computation as stated in the obligee's sworn affidavit, the obligor shall file with the clerk of court a written request for a hearing within 10 days after seizure of his property under execution.

(d) This section shall apply only to judgments by operation of law arising on or after July 1, 1990.

Sources:
  • Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, Intergovernmental Reference Guide, Questions F2 & F2.1
  • NCSL research using WestLaw

 

*PLEASE NOTE: The National Conference of State Legislatures is an organization serving state legislators and their staff. We cannot offer legal advice or assistance with individual cases, but we do try to answer questions on general topics.

Additional Resources

About This NCSL Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support policy, financing, laws, research and promising practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legislature that would like training or assistance related to this topic.

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. Staff in D.C. can be reached at (202) 624-5400 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.