Some Virginia parents may be among the 7 percent of workers nationwide who have their wages garnished. A study by the ADP Research Institute that examined 2016 pay data for 12 million workers found that far more men than women had their wages garnished. Almost all of those garnishments were for child support while women tended to have wages garnished for other reasons such as taxes or student loans.
Wage garnishments may be stressful for both employees, who are under financial pressure, and employers, who must deal with compliance issues. Garnishments usually happen as the result of a court order and continue until a debt is paid.
The study found that wage garnishments were more common in the South and the Midwest. This was consistent with the finding that goods-producing companies, which are also more common in those regions, tended to have more wage garnishments than those in the service sector. Upwards of 25 percent of men who were 35-55, lived in the Midwest and worked at large manufacturing jobs had garnished wages. On average, their income was $44,000 a year. Smaller companies tended to have more employees whose wages were garnished for child support even though larger companies proportionately had more garnishments.
Parents who are going through a divorce might be worried about how they will be able to afford child support or what they will do if the other parent fails to pay it. An attorney can explain how child support will be calculated. If the income of the parent paying child support drops and that parent is unable to pay the support amount, that parent can file a petition for a child support modification with the court that issued the original order. This must be approved before the parent can begin paying the lower amount.