Some California workers may be facing wage garnishment, and this can be stressful for employees and costly for employers. Most people with wage garnishments are men, and the majority of garnishments are for unpaid child support. These were among the conclusions of a study conducted by the ADP Research Institute that examined anonymous pay data for 12 million workers in the United States.
The study also identified certain demographics in which wage garnishment for child support payments was more likely to occur. Wage garnishments in the Midwest and the South were more common than in other regions. Among men ages 35 to 55 in the Midwest who work in large manufacturing, one-quarter have garnished wages. The goods-producing sector tends to have more wages garnished then the service sector.
Usually, wages are garnished by court order. The garnishments continue until the debt has been paid. Some people have garnishments for multiple reasons, so in addition to child support, their wages could be garnished for taxes or other debts.
While child support is calculated during the divorce based on income and other factors, it could become a point of dispute later if the person paying the support simply stops or can no longer afford the amount. In the latter case, the person responsible for paying child support might need to go through the court system to ask for a modification. This may be granted if the person has had a major life circumstance, such as the loss of a job, that has affected the parent’s ability to pay child support. However, the person should continue paying the same amount of support until the modification is approved.