PR 04505.036 North Carolina
A. PR 03-055 North Carolina Garnishment - Alimony Only Donald R. S~ - SSN ~
DATE: December 11, 2002
North Carolina statutes provide that “[t]he remedies of...garnishment...shall be available in actions for alimony or postseparation support...and for such purposes the dependent spouse shall be deemed a creditor of the supporting spouse.” Therefore, it is not necessary to have the Office of the General Counsel review North Carolina garnishment orders for alimony alone and no child support. POMS GN 02410.245 will be revised to reflect this change.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) was served with a garnishment order from the General Court of Justice, District Court Division of Iredell, County, North Carolina dated July 25, 2002. The garnishment order provides for the withholding of $1,005.04 from the Social Security benefits of Donald S~ to satisfy an alimony obligation. You have submitted the order to our office for review because POMS GN 02410.245 states that the Office of the General Counsel should review North Carolina garnishment orders for alimony alone and no child support.
We have previously advised that this POMS section should be changed consistent with current North Carolina statutes. Section 50-16.7(e) of the North Carolina General Statutes provides as follows:
“(e) The remedies of attachment and garnishment, as provided in Article 35 of Chapter 1 and Article 9 of Chapter 110 of the General Statutes, shall be available in actions for alimony or postseparation support as in other cases, and for such purposes the dependent spouse shall be deemed a creditor of the supporting spouse.”
Your office can honor and process the garnishment order in the same manner that you process an order for child support or alimony and child support. The length of the garnishment is continuous until further notice from the court or the death of the number holder. The maximum withholding in the state is governed by the federal limitations in 15 U.S.C. § 1673(b).
Very truly yours,
Mary Ann S~
Regional Chief Counsel, Atlanta
Sharon F. Y~
Assistant Regional Counsel