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Child support the most common reason for wage garnishment

A study released recently by a leading business services firm reveals that delinquent child support obligations are the most common reason for wage garnishments. According to the ADP Research Institute, about 7 percent of the workers in California and around the country have some sort of court-ordered payment deducted from their paychecks. The research was based on an analysis of the confidential payroll data of 12 million American workers.

The noncustodial parents ordered to pay child support are usually fathers, and this could explain why 71 percent of the workers who have paycheck garnishments are men. The ADP study also reveals that workers in certain parts of the country are more likely to have their wages garnished. Garnishments are particularly common among workers in the Midwest between the ages of 35 and 55 who work in the manufacturing sector.

Wage garnishment leaves workers with less money to make ends meet. The ADP researchers found that individuals with garnished paychecks earned about 25 percent less than those with no court-ordered payroll deductions. These deductions are also an indication that individuals are struggling financially, and they tend to be more common in economically depressed areas that have traditionally been reliant on manufacturing. Garnishments are less common in areas with service-based economies like California, according to the ADP report.

Some noncustodial parents fall behind on their child support obligations through no fault of their own. However, others simply refuse to make court-ordered payments because of resentment or lingering animosity. In these situations, experienced family law attorneys may encourage compliance by explaining the possibly severe sanctions that could be applied. In addition to having their wages garnished, noncustodial parents behind on their child support payments could find it difficult to renew their driver's licenses.

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