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How much of my salary can I lose to child support garnishments?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2020 | Firm News

There are many legitimate reasons you might fall behind on child support. You may have lost your job or taken on debt that ballooned payments and made it difficult for you to keep up. Some parents paying child support also opt for child support garnishments, because they find it easier to keep up with payments.

If you have a pre-existing agreement with your ex and you continue to keep up with payments, you might already know exactly how much of your paycheck you could lose to child support. However, if you fall behind on payments, child support agencies might resort to higher garnishment rates.

How much do they take for owed child support?

NerdWallet reports that agencies can take up to 65% of your paycheck to ensure you catch up with child support payments. If you pay child support to another child or also need to make spousal support payments, you might lose up to 50% of your paycheck, instead. When parents fall behind on payments for 12 weeks or more, agencies might even take another 5% as a penalty or late fee.

Does the state I live in make a difference?

Each state has its own child support and garnishments laws in place. The ones that apply to you might prove more difficult to determine. Issues might come into play when the state of the original child support order differs from where you work, which might even differ from the state where you maintain your primary residence. Truck drivers, traveling salespeople, military personnel and entertainers often find themselves facing this complication.

While there are certainly legitimate and justifiable reasons to miss child support payments, it is important to remember that someone has to foot the bill. When non-custodial parents cannot or do not pay, this puts more financial pressure on the custodial parent, who has to make ends meet, no matter what. Because of this, children in single-parent households have a much greater likelihood to experience poverty and pervasive hunger.