The leading cause of garnishments is child support

A large number of Florida workers have garnishment orders against their wages, and the leading cause in the nation is child support. A study released in September looked at garnishments across the country in order to identify trends, causes and the most affected industries and people.

According to the ADP Research Institute, 71 percent of the people who have wage garnishments in the U.S. are men, primarily because of child support. In the U.S., 7 percent of Americans have garnishments, but the percentages are much higher in certain industries. In the manufacturing industry, 26 percent of men between the ages of 35 and 55 have garnishment orders, and some men have multiple garnishments that impact their checks.

The researchers studied four types of garnishments, including child support, student loans or consumer loans, tax levies and bankruptcies. Of the four, child support was the top cause of garnishments at 3 percent. It was followed closely by student loans and consumer loans at 2.9 percent. Tax levies made up 1.5 percent of the garnishments.

People whose financial circumstances substantially worsen after child support orders have been issued should continue trying to stay current with their payments. They might want to talk to family law attorneys about filing motions for post-divorce modifications of their child support orders. While these requests are pending, they should continue making their payments as they were originally ordered. Modifications are not retroactive, and child support balances do not go away. People who are in danger of falling behind on their payments should take action quickly. If they fail to pay their child support, they may have garnishments issued against their checks, have liens placed on their property and face potential periods of incarceration. Modifications may help by reducing the payments according to the drop in income.

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