Many Americans face wage garnishment

In the United States, one out of every 14 workers is having his or her wages garnished according to ADP Research. California residents and others were most likely to have wages garnished to pay back child support. Overall, child support garnishments made up 3 percent of all garnishments, and they were the most common type of garnishment of those studied by ADP. The study also looked at garnishment related to bankruptcy, tax debt and other common scenarios.

Nationally, there were 1.4 obligations per each worker who had his or her wages garnished. Of those who had their wages garnished, 71 percent were male, and those were mostly related to child support payments. Furthermore, 62 percent of workers who had their wages garnished were between the ages of 35 and 54. Those who worked at smaller companies were less likely than those working at larger companies to have their wages garnished.

Wage garnishment for child support or other reasons may have an impact on both the employer and the employee. For the employer, complying with an order to garnish wages may mean more work. For employees, the stress of losing part of their paycheck can add to their stress. In some cases, a wage garnishment doesn't end until a debt is paid in full with penalties and interest.

As a general rule, child support is designed to protect the best interest of a child. Therefore, there may be significant penalties for failing to pay it. Penalties may include jail time or having wages garnished. An attorney may be able to help an individual struggling to make payments on time. Options may include a child support modification order, which may better reflect a parent's ability to pay today as opposed to when an original support order was granted.

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