I have two child support garnishment cases that I am paying. They are in separate states. One case is for my seven-year-old and is an older case where I only pay past due child support. The combined orders exceed the maximum that can be garnished.
Currently, my employer’s solution is to take the legal maximum out of my wages and split evenly between the two. I don’t want to create an arrearage in the original state. If I pay this child’s support out of pocket, I’m left with less than 30% of disposable income.
Can I get my employer to handle this properly? What are my options here?
While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I am licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and can give some general guidance on this issue. Generally, your employer will have little input on how your wage attachment in a support matter is allocated. They cannot dictate to which order funds is allocated; that is something that has to be done by a court order.
In some states, the current child support order takes priority over an arrears-only order, but each state is different. You should speak with an attorney in the first state regarding what options you have to file a petition in support there, to have your wage garnishment adjusted directly.
He or she will be able to tell you if the support office or unit in that state can work with the a court in the other state and jurisdiction to correctly allocate your wage attachments, if permitted by both states’ laws.
Also, you may need to speak with an attorney from the second state as well, with regard to a possible action to have your wage attachment properly apportioned because, again, this is not something your employer is likely to have control over.
Generally, there is a way your order should be apportioned between the two cases, but the action has to come from the court. In some cases, support obligations will exceed maximums that can come out of your pay per federal and state laws. And then, you do have to make payments directly to the state support collection agency over and above your wage attachment. This is something you need to check into with attorneys from both jurisdictions to see if this applies to you.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.