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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My ex wife lives in the state of Connecticut and I live in

Customer Question

Hi - My ex wife lives in the state of Connecticut and I live in Massachusetts. I am required to pay child support for my two children in the amount of $2,179. A few days ago I received a notice that she filed for garnishment of wages, I could accept it or take it to court which I decided to take it to court. My question is: can they garnish my wages if I have never been late on a single payment since the court order was signed in April 2014 and I can prove it with bank statements. In addition, I read my support order incorrectly and had actually been paying her $2,200 ($21 dollars over what I actually owed her). I was overpaying all this time and was not aware of it. I do have one pending item that worries me. I am required to pay 70% of my children's medical bills in the excess of $250 (so she will have to pay up tot $250 and I pay 70% of anything over that.) I found out that there was a claim for $373 in medical bills for my kids which I do not know if my ex paid any portion of it. I am investigating to see what I owe on that and have not paid. Would this be reason on it's own to have my wages garnished, since I have been paying on time every month and never missed or was late for a payment and in addition accidentally over paid her all this time?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, states will enforce the issuing state's child support orders, including garnishment requests.

The employer must honor any support order they receive from another state. The issuing state will determine the amount to withhold, arrears, duration, where to remit, etc.

Connecticut refers to these as Income Withholding Orders.

If the child support enforcement division is involved (typically it is, for interstate cases) then they typically seek garnishment as a matter of convenience.

http://www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport/faq_eng.htm#8

Rules for the issuing state here: http://www.ct.gov/dss/lib/dss/PDFs/WITHOLDING.1999.pdf

It sounds like you have already completed the exemption and modification request.

The court may suspend/withdraw the wage garnishment if they deem it is not necessary. http://ctlawhelp.org/guide-to-wage-attachments#

Normally an unpaid medical bill is not a reason for garnishment unless the parent had knowledge of the bill. Typically the court order will require the parent to notify the other parent within a certain time frame, so that the child's medical bills can be paid in a timely fashion. If that was not provided in the order, and there was no notice of the bill, then that generally is not a reason. It is also a good idea to "modify" the order so that there is the notice requirement for future medical bills.

If there is a history of ongoing payment without issue, the court has the discretion to order direct payment. If however, the child support division is involved, they will typically allow garnishment simply because it is an easier process for the department (for accounting purposes).

http://www.jud.ct.gov/childsupport/faq_eng.htm#8

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