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Wage Garnishment in Florida

A wage garnishment is any legal or equitable procedure through which some portion of a person’s earnings is required to be withheld for the payment of debt.

Since 1988, modified child support orders included an automatic wage withholding order. This allows the primary guardian of a child to automatically receive support from the other through a wage deduction. This is the most common method of collecting a judgment for overdue support.

In this case, the parent who has custody of the child obtains authorization from the court in a writ of execution. Under this authorization, the custodial parent directs the sheriff to seize a portion of your wages. The custodial parent may also be able to seize one’s personal property depending on the circumstances. A custodial parent is the primary caregiver of a child.

Once a court orders someone to pay child support, the court will issue an order requiring an employer to withhold a certain amount of one’s paycheck. From here they will send it directly to the person whom you owe the money to. If you are required to maintain health insurance coverage for your child, the payment for that will be deducted from your paycheck as well.


Florida Wage Garnishment Lawyers

Child custody cases are stressful for everyone involved. If you find yourself needing child support from a co-parent that refuses to pay, or if you are being accused of not supporting your child, speak with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.

The lawyers of Quality Family Law can help you understand your legal rights. Call (561) 557-8686 for a confidential initial consultation.


How Much of my Earnings can the Court Garnish?

When an employer (or an administrator of another source of income) first receives an order for support, they must deduct and remit payment to the agency by no later than fourteen days after the date of the order.

Legally, up to 50% of your disposable earnings may be taken to pay child support if you are currently supporting a spouse or a child who is not the subject of the order. A disposable earning is a legally mandated deduction for the payment of support. One’s disposable earnings is the amount of earnings left after legally required deductions are made(example: medicare, social security, federal and state taxes. If you are not supporting a spouse or a child, up to 60% of your earnings may be taken. An additional five percent (5%) may be taken if you are more than 12 weeks in debt for money that should've been paid already. If your check is already subject to wage withholding for your future payments or garnishment by a different creditor(student loans, credit card), the total amount taken from your paycheck cannot exceed fifty percent.

You may not be fired, disciplined, or otherwise retaliated against because your pay is subject to a wage withholding order to pay child support.


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Requesting A Court Hearing

You or your lawyer may request a court hearing to revisit your wage garnishments. Court hearings to revisit wage garnishment orders typically take place shortly after the garnishment has begun. It is important that you realize that at a hearing, you can only make a few objections. The objections allowed including the following:

  • the amount the court claims you owe is wrong;
  • the amount will leave you with too little to live on;
  • the custodial parent actively concealed your child, as opposed to merely frustrating; or denying your visitation (not all states allow this objection);
  • you had custody of the child at the time wage garnishments accrued.

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Additional Resources for Wage Garnishments

DOL: Wage Garnishments- Visit the website of the Department of Labor that discusses wage garnishment regulations throughout the United States. You will also find examples of amounts subject to garnishment and maximum garnishments of disposable earnings.

Section: 61.1301: Visit the website of the Florida Legislature to view section 61.1301 that explains income deduction orders in the state.


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Florida Wage Garnish Attorney

Our family law division lawyers have an office located in West Palm Beach, FL. We also serve clients in the North Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Wellington, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Springs, and Boynton Beach areas.

Contact the family lawyers of Quality Family Law at (561) 557-8686 today to discuss your legal matters today.

This page was last updated March 9, 2017

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