Wage Garnishment and Income Withholding For Child Support
Child support is required in nearly every Florida divorce or paternity case involving children; it takes precedence over all other debts. However, sometimes either a parent will simply not be able to pay, or will refuse to pay, and as result, the recipient parent may have to seek assistance to collect what is due to them. Wage garnishment is perhaps the most common tool used to collect arrearages in support.
Orders of Support Are Binding On Employers
When a Child Support Order is issued, the employer of the payor parent must abide by that Order, or it will face severe penalties. There are deadlines for employers to withhold the required amounts from an employee’s paycheck and send them to the recipient parent or the Florida State Disbursement Unit (FLSDU) who sends the payment within two business days to the recipient parent.
Income withholding is a very common employer responsibility, with approximately 74 percent of child support collections nationwide being done by employers. If you encounter difficulties because an employer is unable or unwilling to perform this duty, you will be able to compel them to do so via a court order. Any changes in your support order should also be communicated immediately to the employer, so it can continue to provide full and accurate support.
Recouping Past Due Support Payments
If the appropriate amount is not withheld, or if the employer does not submit payment in sufficient time, an Income Withholding Order may be entered if the recipient parent requests one. The employer and the payor parent employee may both be held liable, or just the payor parent, depending on the situation.
In terms of how much may be garnished, Florida honors the Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (FCCPA), which holds that if someone is supporting a dependent spouse or child (other than the person who is the object of the order), no more than 50 percent of the employee’s disposable earnings may be garnished. If he or she is not supporting anyone, no more than 60 percent may be garnished. Garnishing child support, alimony and arrears is required; it is not a punishment. It allows payor and recipient parents and former spouses to budget their money.
Contact A Child Support Attorney
Your children are entitled by law to receive support from both parents until they reach the age of 18. If that is not happening, it is a good idea to enlist a competent attorney. The Orlando child support attorneys at the firm of Goodblatt · Leo are happy to help answer your questions and ensure your children are taken care of. Contact us today via phone or website to set up an initial appointment.