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Child support and wage garnishment

Most Texas noncustodial parents are committed to providing for their children. However, individuals can and do fall behind on child support payments. When this happens, child support agencies and the courts will sometimes seek to garnish the parent's paychecks.

Wage garnishment can be a difficult issue to deal with. The process involves informing the parent's employer that a portion of each paycheck must be deducted and sent to the child support agency. Many employees find this embarrassing as it exposes the employee's private life to his or her employer. In addition, it makes extra work for payroll departments.

In fact, a study showed that child support payments are a major cause of wage garnishment. In addition to the extra paperwork and embarrassment, individuals who have their wages garnished may find themselves having difficulty meeting the rest of their expenses, including housing, utilities, and food.

Over time, the they may have difficulty paying other bills, putting them at risk for court judgments that could result in additional wage garnishments. Some employers will even terminate the employment of individuals who have more than one garnishment filed against them. Since child support payments cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy, those who have fallen behind may find themselves in a never-ending cycle of debt.

Parents who are concerned about affording child support payments may benefit by speaking to an experienced family law attorney. If there has been an unexpected downturn in a parent's financial situation, such as a job loss or a medical emergency, the attorney might assist in filing a request for an order modification with the court that has jurisdiction over the matter.

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