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Wage withholding for child support in Texas (part 2)

We'll continue our discussion this week of wage withholding for Dallas parents. Wage withholding, or garnishment, can be a highly effective tool for keeping child support payments current and avoiding the consequences associated with delinquent payments.

Let's look at how employers calculate withholding amounts, in both traditional scenarios and those involving multiple orders for withholding (i.e., parents who owe child support to more than one family). The website of the Attorney General of Texas provides some illustrative examples as well. The information is intended to be general in nature only and not interpreted as specific legal advice.

When calculating garnishment of their employees' paychecks, employers must act in accordance with the definitions laid out by the Texas Family Code. Terms like "earnings" and "disposable earnings" have specific meanings, for example. They must also consider medical support deductions, the correct calculation for the applicable pay cycle (weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, and so on), and the correct way to remit the garnished funds.

If an employer receives multiple orders for wage withholding, the employer must:

  • Pay the same amount towards each order's current support; then,
  • Pay equal amounts towards the support that is in arrears per each order,
  • Until each obligation is fulfilled,
  • Without exceeding the maximum allowable amount under the Texas Family Code.

In other words, employers need to perform calculations that can grow to be fairly complicated if multiple orders exist and if any portions are in arrears.

As a parent, whether paying or receiving child support through wage withholding, it's important to make sure that the employer has understood the requirements and performed the calculations correctly. A legal professional can review an order (or multiple orders), clarify any questions and follow up if there are concerns.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, "Wage Withholding," accessed on Dec. 11, 2015

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