What Happens When Wages Are Garnished to Pay Child Support?
In Illinois, child support is taken seriously. Illinois law recognizes that all parents are financially responsible for meeting their children’s needs until the children are no longer minors. While ensuring that children’s safety and welfare are protected, the law can place a financial burden on those who must pay support. When non-custodial parents do not pay financial support, the other parent may take measures to ensure child support is paid.
Non-custodial parents who do not pay child support can be held in contempt of court. However, cases involving non-payment are often resolved before these types of charges are filed, and to ensure that payments are made, the non-custodial parent’s wages may be garnished. The parent’s employer will then be responsible for deducting the ordered amount from his or her wages and making the payments to the custodial parent. However, a parent may wonder how wage garnishment is handled and what will happen if an employer fails to make these payments.
How Wage Garnishment for Child Support Works
A parent who has not received court-ordered child support payments can petition the court to garnish the wages of the other parent. The amount garnished may address both ongoing payments and any back payments and interest owed. If the court allows the wage garnishment, up to 50 percent of the non-custodial parent’s wages can be deducted from their paychecks. If the non-custodial parent does not have any other support obligations, such as child support or spousal support from a previous relationship, up to 60 percent of his or her wages can be garnished. Additionally, if a non-custodial parent is more than 12 weeks behind on child support payments, another 5 percent can be garnished from his or her wages.
When garnishing wages, the employer is responsible for deducting the specified amount from the employee’s disposable income, which is what is left after taxes or other mandatory payments are deducted from the gross income. The employer will send the amount garnished to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, which will then transfer it to the custodial parent.
When Employers Do Not Pay
Wage garnishment is often an effective solution for parents that are not receiving proper child support payments. However, employers do not always garnish wages as ordered. Non-payment may occur because of a glitch in a payroll system, miscommunication between different payroll administrators, or even an outright refusal. However, employers are responsible for abiding by court orders. If an employer fails to garnish wages as ordered, he or she may be fined up to $100 per day in late fees. The original amount will continue to be owed, and the fines will accrue until the entire amount is paid.
Call a Rolling Meadows Child Support Lawyer
If you are having trouble collecting child support, or if your child support order should be modified due to changes in the income you earn, dedicated Hoffman Estates divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson can provide the legal help you need. He will petition the court on your behalf and work to help you reach a solution that will protect your financial stability while ensuring that your children receive the support they need. Contact us today at 847.873.6741 for a free consultation.