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Enforcing a Child Support Order – Wage Garnishments

Ways to Enforce a Child Support Order in Jacksonville, FL

Once a couple has finalized their divorce in Florida, the specific terms and conditions that have been outlined in their divorce agreement will be enforceable by law. This means that either party could be subject to legal action if they fail to uphold their end of the bargain. While this would apply to all aspects of divorce (i.e. property division, child custody and alimony), one of the most frequently neglected responsibilities is that of child support.

  • For this reason, the Florida court system has created a number of different ways for the non-paying spouse to enforce such an order, including:
  • Income deduction
  • Driver's license suspension
  • Business license suspension
  • Income tax refund intercept
  • Unemployment benefit deductions
  • Workers' compensation deductions
  • Personal property liens
  • Wage garnishment
  • Passport denial
  • Contempt of court

How do wage garnishments & income deductions work?

If one parent has been ordered to provide monthly child support payments to the custodial parent of their child, they are required to do so by law. Should they fail to do so, the non-paying parent would have the right to bring this to the attention of the court.

While there are a number of ways that the court may attempt to collect the overdue payments (i.e. holding the uncooperative party in contempt of court), they may need to take more drastic measures if the supporting parent has continued to neglect their responsibilities. Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to legally seize the money.

In Florida, the Department of Revenue has the power to collect past-due child support by issuing a wage garnishment notice to the uncooperative parent's employer. Under the law, they have the right to garnish up to 50-65% of the parent's disposable income for child support payments.

The employer will receive a letter, including a copy of the court order, which will expressly require them to garnish their employee's wages. The employer will then be required to notify their employee of the situation—as the parent would have the right to content the wage garnishment before it goes into effect.

Could the supporting parent lose their job for a wage garnishment?

According to the Consumer Credit Protection Act, employers are strictly prohibited from discriminating against their employees for a wage garnishment. This means that they cannot fire an employee on this basis alone or withhold more than the state's maximum allowable amount.

It is important to note that this would only apply to a single wage garnishment, however, as there is no protection against termination when the employee has been subject to two or more wage garnishments. That being said, it is advisable that you speak with my firm's Jacksonville divorce lawyers if you are facing a second garnishment.

Discuss Your Case with Charles E. Willmott, P.A. Today

Whether you are interested in enforcing a child support order in Florida or your ex-spouse has already attempted to garnish your wages, the Jacksonville family law attorney at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. can help you resolve your case. As a board-certified divorce expert, he is well-versed in all aspects of family law—including both sides of court order enforcements. For this reason, you can trust that your case will be in good hands when you turn to my firm for help.

If you are interested in learning more, contact my office today at (904) 849-5183. From there, I can get started on developing an appropriate legal strategy.

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