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Clearwater Divorce Lawyer (Based on 36 Reviews)
727-683-1472 801 West Bay Drive, Suite 713
Largo, FL 33770
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Child Support And Wage Garnishment In Florida


In Florida, when courts order child support, they do so based on a number of factors, including the number of children being supported, the parties’ incomes, and how custody is divided. Once ordered, a child support award will become legally enforceable, so non-custodial parents who fail to pay could risk being sanctioned by the court. In an effort to collect from a non-paying parent, the child’s custodial parent can request wage garnishment from the Florida Department of Revenue. If granted, the non-custodial parent’s employer will receive a withholding notice, after which, it will be required to take funds directly out of that parent’s paycheck and re-route the amount to the parent who is owed support. If you want to learn more about the wage garnishment process, or have questions about changing your child support order due to changed circumstances, please call our experienced Clearwater child support modification lawyers today.

Wage Garnishment Process

Under Florida law, parents have the right to seek wage garnishment to collect on unpaid child support. If awarded, garnishment allows the Florida Department of Revenue to take funds directly from a third party. In child support cases, this third party is usually the non-paying parent’s employer, who, once it receives a child support collection order, will be required to deduct a certain amount from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck. Once the funds are withdrawn, they are then sent to the Florida State Disbursement Unit, where they will eventually be re-routed to the custodial parent who requested enforcement of the child support order.

How Much Can the State Garnish?

It’s important to note that there are limits on how much can actually be taken out of a person’s paycheck. In most cases, for instance, the maximum amount that can be garnished from a person’s wages to pay off a debt is 25 percent of the debtor’s paycheck. Child support, however, is not treated like most debts in Florida, where up to half of a non-custodial parent’s disposable income can be garnished for the support of a child. This means that after an employer has withheld all necessary taxes from a paycheck, the state can take an additional 50 percent of the total for child support purposes. In fact, this number can be increased to 60 percent if the non-custodial parent isn’t also supporting a spouse or another child. Finally, the government can tack on an additional five percent when a parent is more than 12 weeks overdue on child support.

Schedule a Case Review Today

Whether you are seeking the enforcement of a child support order, or you are no longer able to pay the amount ordered by a family law court, you need an attorney who can help you navigate the legal process. To learn more about wage garnishment and other methods of enforcing child support awards, please call 727-683-1472 and set up a meeting with one of the dedicated Clearwater child support modification lawyers at Cairns Law. We recognize that our clients lead busy lives and so are happy to make ourselves available for both weeknight and weekend appointments.



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