Almost every divorce proceeding involving minor children results in a child support arrangement. Child support arrangements may also be the result of paternity suits, and they generally take legal precedence over any other debt. In some cases, however, a parent cannot or simply will not make their child support payments in full or on time. As a result, the parent who receives child support may have to turn to other avenues for gaining the compensation. One of these avenues involves wage garnishment and income withholding.
If you’re seeking wage garnishment for payment of child support, the first step is to file a petition for a Child Support Order with your local family court system. Abraham Kant, an experienced family law and child support attorney, can help you navigate the process and will assist in filing the paperwork. Once the courts approve and issue a Child Support Order, the employer of the parent will be required to withhold the requested amount from a worker’s paycheck and send it to the appropriate party within the designated time frame.
This process, called wage garnishment or income withholding, is actually a pretty common employer responsibility. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all child support collections nationwide come from employers. If you’re having trouble getting an employer to garnish an employee’s wages, a court order can compel them to do so. Additionally, you should report any changes to your Child Support Order to the employer, so they can withhold the appropriate amount in each check.
If an employer does not submit payments in the appropriate amount or on time, the recipient parent can file an Income Withholding Order. When the court approves these orders, both the payor parent and their employer may be liable for any back payments. This helps incentivize employers and hold them accountable for withholding.
Texas follows the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, which says that someone supporting a dependent cannot have more than 50 percent of their disposable income subject to garnishment. Under Texas law, your disposable income is defined as that leftover after your employer makes their required tax deductions and any deductions for your medical care, disability insurance, and nondiscretionary retirement deductions.
The act of garnishing wages or income holding isn’t a “punishment” for parents who are not fulfilling their obligations for child support. Making your child support payments is the law. It’s so essential that all child support orders in Texas come with an automatic income withholding order, though you may require additional wage garnishment if you fall behind on your payments.
If you’re a recipient parent of child support but you cannot get the payor parent to make their payments on time or in full, you have legal options. Abraham Kant, our experienced family law attorney, is here to help with assistance regarding wage garnishment orders or income withholding. We want to make this process as simple as possible – contact us for an initial consultation with our firm.