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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110487
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I currently live in California. My wife divorced me in Jan.

Customer Question

I currently live in California. My wife divorced me in Jan. 2013 while we were living in Washington State. I am 67 years old and retired since Jan, 2016. I live on my Social Security ($2562/mo) and have an untapped pension fund from my last job. I am unable to pay maintenance, which was reduced from $5500 to $1000 by the Washington court just recently, but I can't afford to pay that either. I stopped most of the maintenance payments in Feb, 2016 and all of it as of July. My question: can my social security and/or ERISA retirement be garnished for back/future maintenance?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
I am afraid that one of the very few exceptions to the law that Social Security or retirement benefits cannot be garnished is spousal support, alimony, maintenance or child support. So, if there is an order of spousal support/maintenance/alimony, legally they can garnish your SS income and your retirement income and the bank accounts that those funds go into as well. CA can issue a garnishment order to SS and your retirement account company and that is one of the legal reasons those accounts can be garnished.

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