An Attorney Who Has Walked In Your Shoes

Can wages be garnished for child support?

When someone is ordered to pay child support by a family court, they must adhere to that order. Many people do not want to pay child support, or may even feel like they shouldn’t have to. But as long as there is a binding court order on record, they have to follow it or they are violating the other co-parent’s rights – and those of their child.

For instance, perhaps your spouse asked for a divorce, and you agreed that it was time to end the marriage. They were ordered to pay child support to help offset some of the childcare costs that you would be facing. However, the two of you are not on good terms, and they have told you that they now refuse to make those monthly payments. Maybe they won’t even talk to you or return your calls, and you’re wondering what options you have available to you.

Wage garnishment can be used with a court order

It is true that wage garnishment is one potential tactic that the state uses to get people to pay their child support debt. As with the initial child support order, a court ruling will be necessary unless there is an administrative enforcement route available where you live. You cannot contact your spouse’s place of employment and ask them to garnish their wages, even if you have proof that they owe you money and they haven’t paid. Only a court or another arm of the state can make the business garnish a worker’s wages.

Garnishment happens before a worker is given their paycheck. That’s why this is such an effective collections and enforcement tactic. If a percentage of the money is withheld before your ex is even paid, and that money is given to you, then they have no way to circumvent this process and prevent you from getting the support that you are owed.

What steps do you need to take?

Disputes concerning child custody or child support issues can often become very contentious between parents. It’s important for you to know what legal options you have and what steps you can take to get your ex to comply with a court or administrative order if they are refusing to meet their obligations. Seeking legal guidance is likely a good first step forward.