Wage Garnishment and Support: How it Works

A gavel in front of someone holding a bundle of money

You’re getting divorced and your soon-to-be former spouse is ordered to pay either child support or maintenance, or perhaps both as separate or unallocated support! This alone might cause some to worry. After all, who’s to say that your spouse will pay the support he or she was ordered to pay?

Wage garnishment is the answer to this problem.

When you’re entitled to receive maintenance, child support, or both, you have two options:

  1. Collect the payment directly from your spouse; or
  2. Establish an income withholding order

Typically, wage garnishment is used as a remedy if you aren’t being paid by your spouse, which is more likely to occur if you’ve agreed to accept payment directly and are no longer receiving it. However, there are other situations this might occur, all of which you can discuss with your Naperville divorce lawyer.

What is Wage Garnishment?

Wage garnishment is used in more than just divorce. In fact, it’s commonly used by courts whenever an individual owes a payment or has accumulated a debt.

Wage garnishment is when the court withholds money from an individual’s paycheck. This is used to pay a debt that has accumulated, such as if your former spouse was ordered to pay support but hasn’t been doing so.

When wages are garnished, they are sent to the state disbursement unit. From there, they’re sent to the spouse entitled to the support for payment of the debt.

It’s important to note that while most wages are withheld from paychecks, money can be withheld from other sources too, including:

  • Workers’ compensation;
  • Disability; and
  • Unemployment

Are You Owed Support? 

If you’re owed support, and your spouse is refusing to pay, you should use your Naperville divorce attorney to return to court to implement a wage garnishment order. Doing so is the simplest way to get the money you’re entitled to, and to do it before too many past-due payments accumulate.

Larry Surinak has been a divorce attorney for over 36 years. Contact Larry today for your free, 30-minute consultation to discuss the potential for wage garnishment in your case at 630-470-9990. If you prefer, you may also fill out our simple online form to request an in-office 30-minute consultation. We look forward to speaking with you!

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