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Child support: a common reason for wage garnishments

Wage garnishments are a growing problem for many workers in Virginia and across the United States. Wage garnishments may be imposed to collect debts after a judgment has been entered against a debtor. Creditors may also seize bank accounts and other property in some cases until the debt is satisfied if a judge has authorized it.

A new study conducted by the ADP Research Institute found that 7 percent of U.S. workers have their paychecks garnished. The study found that child support arrearages were the most common reason for wage garnishment, followed by student loan debt. About 71 percent of wage garnishments involved men, and the leading cause was child support. The most common reason for wage garnishments for women involved consumer debt or student loans.

The study also examined how employees in different industries were affected by wage garnishments. Researchers found that wage garnishments were more common for employees in manufacturing jobs than they were for workers in service industries. In Virginia, employees with wage garnishments faced an average of 1.6 wage garnishments.

Court rulings made in a divorce can affect the lives of the parents and children for many years in the future. A person who is facing wage garnishments due to child support may wish to speak to a family law attorney about their legal options. If the parent obligated to pay child support has experienced a change in circumstances such the loss of a job or the onset of a disability, he or she may be able to petition the court for a post-divorce modification. A family law attorney may also be able to assist clients who are facing divorce by drafting pleadings, negotiating settlements and presenting the case to a judge if the case proceeds to trial.

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