The term wage garnishment  is defined as the process by which  funds are automatically deducted from an employee’s paycheck, typically as a result of a court order. In the field of Family Law, an employee’s wages may be garnished to secure payment for child or spousal support. Such an order will continue until the debt is satisfied. Thus, in a Family Law case, wages will be garnished until the children reach the age of majority and child support is terminated or in the case of spousal support, when temporary or permanent support orders terminate.  Garnishments are accomplished by way of a document called a “Wage Withholding Order.”

For example, if Father has an existing child support order payable to Mother each month, he must make his monthly payment or he will fall into “arrears“.  Mother may obtain a wage garnishment order whereby she will receive the support directly from Father’s employer rather than from Father himself. Payment directly to Mother will help ensure that the lawfully required child support is timely paid.

The party seeking to have wages garnished must file a Notice of Wage Withholding Order with the court.   Once the Withholding Order is filed, the party seeking the wage garnishment will then serve the obligor party’s employer with the Order.  The employer then has 10 days to comply with the Order and initiate the wage garnishment.

For more information on wage garnishment and child support, please contact our office at (619)284-4113 to set up your consultation with one of our Certified Family Law Specialists.