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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Child support and wage garnishment

Child support is the leading cause of wage garnishment in the U.S. When a Tennessee parent does not comply with a court order for child support, he or she may face wage garnishment. Garnishments can create a major strain on employees who lose expected income.

A study by the ADP Research Institute examined wage garnishment statistics all across the country. They found some trends that employees and companies should be aware of. The study found that 3 percent of employees had a garnishment due to child support, which was slightly higher than that for student loan and commercial loan debt and much higher than for other types of debt. The majority of workers, 71 percent, with garnished wages were men, and this was primarily due to child support obligations. Middle-aged workers were also more likely to be garnished compared to workers under 35 or over 54.

The size of the garnishment proved to be uneven across various industries. Larger goods-producing companies tended to see both a higher percentage of garnishments and higher garnishment amounts compared to smaller or service-related companies. On average, goods-producing companies saw 10 percent garnishments while service companies saw only 7 percent. In general, the Midwest and Southern regions of the country tend to get hit harder when it comes to wage garnishment.

Dealing with child support issues can be difficult for divorced parents. There could be disagreements about the amount that should be paid, and this may cause a person to avoid payment. It is better to face these problems and disagreements upfront and get them resolved quickly. An attorney may be able to help a client reach a fair child support agreement with the other parent or make changes to an existing agreement so that it is more reasonable. This may help a person avoid wage garnishment.

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