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Study looks at wage garnishments for child support, other debts

Some El Paso workers may be among the 7 percent nationwide whose wages were garnished in 2016. Most people whose wages are garnished are men who are behind on child support. Women whose wages are garnished tend to owe money on other types of debt such as student loans or taxes. These were some of the findings of the ADP Research Institute in a study that was released on Sept. 27.

The study examined anonymous payroll data of 12 million workers. It found that workers in the South and Midwest were more likely to have their wages garnished and that goods-producing companies, which are more prevalent in those regions, had higher wage garnishment rates than the service industry at 10 percent versus 7 percent.

Among men who worked in large manufacturing companies in the Midwest and who were between the ages of 35 and 55, 26 percent had wage garnishments. Their average annual salary was $44,000. Usually, a wage garnishment occurs after a court order and continues until a debt has been paid. Wage garnishments may be stressful for employees and can create compliance issues for employers.

There are many reasons that a parent might fail to pay child support. In some cases, the parent may have had a change in income and be unable to pay the same amount that was ordered in the divorce. The parent will still be considered liable for the same amount unless the court grants a modification. It is necessary to go through the legal system to get this modification if there is a legally binding child support agreement in place even if the other parent has agreed to be paid less money. A parent who is supposed to get child support and who is not receiving it might be able to get assistance in collecting support from state or local child enforcement agencies.

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