The Hole in Wage Garnishment

wage garnishment

wage garnishmentThe issues with divorce do not end with the final verdict, especially when there is a child involved. Child support is the trickiest of those issues, and not everyone is willing to cooperate, even with a court order. This is why the law provided a method known as wage garnishment to help people get child support money from former spouses whether they want to or not.

Wage garnishment skips over the former spouse and goes directly to their source of income. The employer automatically deducts the support money from the wages of the former spouse before they even get to see their paycheck. This is a simple and straightforward means of getting support money, and professionals from often recommend it if the former spouse is uncooperative. Nevertheless, wage garnishment is not fool proof.

A recent case in Florida is looking to see whether there is a mistake in the calculation of support money. In the case file, the spouse paying the support money works at a restaurant as a server, earning slightly less than the hourly minimum wage. This is allowed by law because of the expectation that employees within the restaurant service industry earn tips and gratuities.

The issue in the case is that the plaintiff accuses the employer of calculating the support money from the former spouse’s hourly wage, excluding those tips and gratuities. It may not seem like much, but once the monthly calculations came in, the difference between payments with and without those tips came to around two hundred dollars.

Now, the case is all the way in Florida, and it is hard to imagine that it can have any effect up here in Maine, but the arguments will be worth looking at. Wage garnishment is a national statute, and any debate regarding what it can and cannot do will have an effect on how people will approach their calculations in the future.

What people can glean from this case so far is that if former spouses do not want to pay for support, there is wage garnishment. Employers can be taken to court if they miscalculate on the support money claimed by wage garnishment.

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