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For child support in, does the state automatically garnish…

For child support in Virginia...
For child support in Virginia, does the state automatically garnish my wages from the start of child support or does it only affect if I fall behind on payments?
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
12/19/2017
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you!

Yes that is correct; when a child support order is issued then there is an automatic wage garnishment and the law allows for up to 50% of disposable income to be garnished for this purpose (versus the standard 25%)>

It is possible to file a motion and request direct payment to the other party or to child support services but if any payment is late the court will likely issue a garnishment order.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Is it possible to file a motion to pay the state directly or do I need a lawyer to do that?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Also, what dictates up to 50%? My salary is rouhgly about $11,500 a month and online with VA's child support website calculator, it looks like, worst case scenario, I'd be paying about $1500 - $1800. Why would they take even more than that?

Yes that is possible; just make sure that the order specifies that-and the form of payment:

https://mychildsupport.dss.virginia.gov/

Sorry I wasn't clear, i meant that even if the child support order was a very high amount so that it was more than 50% of one's disposable income, the maxium that can be taken is the 50% limit- so if the order is for less than 50% of one's check, the order is the amount that would be deducted.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
My question, though is why would it be up to 50% when the website says up to 25%? What would make it more?

Child support is an exception; here is the actual statute:

b1) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed:

(1) Sixty percent of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; or

(2) If such individual is supporting a spouse or dependent child other than the spouse or child with respect to whose support such order was issued, 50 percent of such individual's disposable earnings for that week.

The 50 percent specified in subdivision (b1) (2) shall be 55 percent and the 60 percent specified in subdivision (b1) (1) shall be 65 percent if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce an order for support for a period which is more than 12 weeks prior to the beginning of such workweek.

https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/34-29/

instructions here to the employer:

http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/dc455.pdf

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I make roughly about $125k a year. Would that be subject to 50%? The link you sent me has a lot of legal jargon that I don't understand.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
She makes about $115k.

Yes, so say the total child support obligation for the year is $75K; the garnishment would only allow for 50% of $125K maximum to be garnished.

But if a person makes $10k a month and the child support order is $2k, that is well below the 50% cap ($5k) so that would not apply. The order as it stands would be enforced in full.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Maybe I'm not answering the question correctly. Why would it be 25% or 50%? What dictates how much is taken? The only thing I see I'd be paying in my situation is basic child support and daycare since he is on her healthcare plan. She's military.

The child support determines how much the parent is obligated to pay in child support.

The 50% cap (the maximum that may be garnished for child support from a paycheck) is to ensure that a person will have enough money to live on. It is a public policy consideration. Sometimes a person will have multiple child support orders which leaves them with say 10% of their net disposable income; this is designed so that does not happen.

The statute states that 50% of one's disposable income is the most that can be garnished.

If the child support order is less than 50% of one's disposable income, then the full amount of the child support order would be garnished.

Say I have an income of $1,000 a month. That means I have up to $500 a month that may be garnished.

If I have a child support order for $200 and a garnishment order is issued, the employer will garnish the full $200.

If I have a child support order for $800, the employer will only garnish $500, because $800 is more than 50% of the net disposable salary.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title20/chapter6/section20-108.2/This VA site states that under the guidelines, a person making $11,500, would pay $1199 for basic support. My son's daycare is $950. So for me to split that say 60/40, it means i'd pay about $500. That means it would be roughly $1699 a month. Does that sound right or could the court say I need to pay more? I don't know why they would if the guidelines says that's my estimate.

That sounds right;

please keep in mind a child support order has different rules than a garnishment order.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Got it! If the they do garnish wages, even though I've never missed a payment, will this hurt my credit score?

great; it would be nice if they simplified both family law and wills and trusts- it's not fair to expect people to understand all of this just to go about their daily lives!

Unfortunately a garnishment is public record and is reported to the credit bureaus as a debt so it affects the ratio of income to debt so it tends to lower one's score. The real damage comes if it goes into arrears.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
if the court allows me to pay the state directly and not garnish my check, will it still go to public record? I'm trying to keep it off my credit report. I'm not worried about it going into arrears, because I'll never let that happen.

Typically if paid directly it is not reported -it requires a missed payment for that.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Do you think the court will say no if I ask to pay it directly?

The reason for garnishment is to avoid hassle of the possibilty of late payments but since the child support division does have a process for that it is quite possible.

Because these types of questions come down to the particular judge hearing the case (judicial discretion) I would not want to mislead you. Basically if the court deems there is no risk for late payment one would presume they would allow it; but a judge may decide it's not worth the risk based on their past experiences.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Understood. If they do garnish wages, and say a year goes by and i make every payment on time, will they allow me to pay directly instead of wage garnishment or is it if you're on wage garnishment, you're on it forever?

No, it can be modified; one would file a petition in court detailing the payments and requesting direct pay. That would be helpful.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
One last question, I'm sure there will be a little retroactive payments which is fine. I have savings put back just for it. However, will retroactive payments show up on my credit report the same way as arrears would? I heard they don't, but not sure.

No, that would not be just or equitable. It would require violation of an order; and an order cannot be violated before it existed fortunately.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
you've been great! Thank you!

Very welcome!

Enjoy the holidays! take care.

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