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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33798
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I live in Florida and I recently remarried. I have two children

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I live in Florida and I recently remarried. I have two children and he has two children. They all live with and get their support from us. I have a judgement against me from 2006 (original loan in 2002) from an Auto Loan I signed as "primary" for my ex husband that he was the co-signor. I get paid the 15th and 30th or 31st of every month. My disposable earnings for a two week period are $814.00 but if you break that down to weekly pay, it is less than $750 per week. My current husband makes significantly more than I do. They are going to garnish my wages. All of my husbands income goes to his bills before the marriage that he still has and his two children. All of my income goes to my two children and other household bills. We will be in the negative if they garnish my wages. Can I still claim "Head of Family Exemption"? And if I can will that protect our joint bank account that our wages are deposited into and bills are paid out of. Please note I have no other assets.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Do you provide more than half the support for your children?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I noted above, that my current husband makes significantly more income than I do, and he provides more than half of his support for his pre marriage bills and his two children. I provide more than half of my support for my two children and also some of my income to the joint household bills for all 4 children. If he makes more than I do, does that matter since I provide more than half for my own children who live with us (his step children)

If he makes more than I do, does that matter since I provide more than half for my own children who live with us (his step children)

No, husband's income is not relevant to this matter since the judgment is not against him. He has no legal obligation to provide support for your children unless he has adopted them.
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So it only matters that you provide over half the support for them. If this is the case, then you would be legally considered eligible for the "head of household" exemption and they couldn't garnish your wages.
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If you qualify, then they can't come after your wages directly by garnishment. Further once you commingle the wages with your spouse's income in the bank account, if you hold the account in "tenancy by the entirety" then it would be exempt as well. This is the typical way spouses hold bank accounts in FL, but you want to make completely sure that you hold the account this way.
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You can contact your bank to make sure that any accounts are held a "tenancy by the entirety" accounts and then they would be completely exempt from creditors of just one spouse under FL law.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you! So if I file for head of family because I provide more than half of my own support for my own two children than would I include his income on my financial statement if its required since his income is not relevant?

So if I file for head of family because I provide more than half of my own support for my own two children than would I include his income on my financial statement if its required since his income is not relevant?
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No, you wouldn't include his income because he is not subject to any creditor action due to the debt being entirely yours. So what he makes doesn't have any bearing on this debt because it is between you and the creditor. Only if he was a co-defendant would you include his income.
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Florida and Texas are probably the two most "debtor friendly" states there are.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You have put my mind for my children and step children's sakes' to rest. Thank You. One last question, do you know where I can get this form online pursuant to Florida cases?

Actually yes, you an find the claim of exemption form and the head of household affidavit below. You might need to change the location if you aren't in Miami-Dade County or visit your local county court website to print out the form.
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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t &rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDoQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lsgmi.org%2Fdownloads%2FStoppingAFloridaGarnishment.pdf&ei=d0TkUYqeCces4AOO7YHYDQ&usg=AFQjCNF0X2xlL2bDg7zAE21V_C6gHX7f1Q&sig2=li8AxrSpq5l5lOP2t3bytw&bvm=bv.48705608,d.dmg&cad=rja
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That form says $500 aren't we supposed to be $750 in Florida?

Yes, that is correct, it must be an outdated form...Under FL Statutes 222.11 the exemption is:
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(2)(a) All of the disposable earnings of a head of family whose disposable earnings are less than or equal to $750 a week are exempt from attachment or garnishment.
(b) Disposable earnings of a head of a family, which are greater than $750 a week, may not be attached or garnished unless such person has agreed otherwise in writing. The agreement to waive the protection provided by this paragraph must:
1. Be written in the same language as the contract or agreement to which the waiver relates;
2. Be contained in a separate document attached to the contract or agreement; and
3. Be in substantially the following form in at least 14-point type:

IF YOU PROVIDE MORE THAN ONE-HALF OF THE SUPPORT FOR A CHILD OR OTHER DEPENDENT, ALL OR PART OF YOUR INCOME IS EXEMPT FROM GARNISHMENT UNDER FLORIDA LAW. YOU CAN WAIVE THIS PROTECTION ONLY BY SIGNING THIS DOCUMENT. BY SIGNING BELOW, YOU AGREE TO WAIVE THE PROTECTION FROM GARNISHMENT.

(Consumer’s Signature) (Date Signed)

I have fully explained this document to the consumer.

(Creditor’s Signature) (Date Signed)

The amount attached or garnished may not exceed the amount allowed under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1673.

(c) Disposable earnings of a person other than a head of family may not be attached or garnished in excess of the amount allowed under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1673.
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But for all practical purposes, it is not limited to only $750. If you make over $750 in disposable earnings they are still exempt unless you have agreed in writing to waive the exemption. I have no idea why anyone would ever agree to waive that exemption....
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Thanks
Barrister
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