It is important to stay on top of your child support payments since consequences could result if you start to fall behind. Texas authorities can take steps to secure payments from you even if you do not provide them to your ex-spouse. One way is through wage garnishment.
Wage garnishment happens when a court order requires an employer to remove part of your wages in order to satisfy a debt. The Motley Fool explains three different ways a court may apply wage garnishment to someone who owes child support.
Your marital status may affect garnishment
A garnishment ordered by a family court may take out a certain amount of your wages after your employer has accounted for income and FICA taxes. If you have remarried since your divorce, a court may garnish 50% of your qualifying wages. However, you could lose up to 60% if you are still single.
Your employer may make up missed garnishment
A court may have approved garnishment during your last job, but your previous employer might not have taken out the correct amount. In this case, your current employer will probably be on the hook to garnish even more of your wages to compensate for the missed amount.
Your garnishments can increase
If you do not pay back missed support as soon as possible, your garnishments will likely go up until you have paid back your outstanding debt. In the event your payments end up over 12 weeks late, the maximum garnishment amount can rise to 65% of your wages.
Problems meeting your child support payments may stem from a poor financial situation. Exploring options such as budgeting your expenses and modifying your support payments may help you avoid losing money through wage garnishments.