On behalf of The Law Offices of Mary Ann Beaty, PC posted in Child Support on Friday, February 14, 2014.

Parents in Texas often encounter many major decisions during the divorce process. This leads to difficult choices, such as those involving child custody and child support. In some cases, a parent is not given much time with the child but is required to make monthly payments to help cover the necessary expenses associated with childcare. When a parent fails to pay child support, they could endure serious repercussions and penalties such as fines and even incarceration.

State agencies often step in when a parent fails to pay child support. In some situations, the payment is taken straight from the parent’s paycheck through wage garnishment. Some parents experiencing wage garnishment may wonder whether they will have enough money left to support them. Additionally, some are concerned that employers will react negatively to the fact that they are having their wages garnished. Simply put, they fear that they will lose out on employment opportunities because they owe child support and are delinquent on payments.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing federal laws that prevent discrimination in the pre-employment phase. Employers are discouraged from refusing to hire someone based on wage garnishment. Although it is the employer’s responsibility to carry out the wage garnishments required by the state child support agency, they should not use that information to make an employment decision.

Although employers are highly discouraged from using wage garnishment against a potential employee, the policy outlined by the EEOC does not provide blanket protection. Furthermore, Texas state law offers additional protection by prohibiting the denial of employment based on wage garnishments for child support.

Failure to pay child support could lead to serious issues, but a parent should understand why they are in their current situation and how they can improve it. If a parent has encountered financial difficulties that require a reduction in child support payments, they should ask the court for the reduction immediately to avoid harsh penalties. Modifications of child support arrangements are often available to parents who can prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances.

Source: azcentral.com, “Can You Turn Down an Applicant Because of Garnishments?,” Trudie Longren, Feb. 10, 2014