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Things to know about wage garnishment in Texas

Like most Texas residents, you work hard to earn a living. You may find your work rewarding and are glad you usually have enough income to make ends meet. Do you know, however, that there are several problems that may arise in your life that would allow various entities to garnish your wages in order to satisfy your debts? In some situations, there may be little or nothing you can do about it.

When your marriage hit rock bottom and you determined divorce was imminent, you probably assumed you would have to pay child support. Since you love your children and want what is best for them, you were very willing to do so. When financial problems arose, you began having trouble meeting your payments. In such situations, if you're aware of the basic facts regarding wage garnishment in Texas, you may be able to avoid serious legal trouble, especially if you are divorced and late on your child support payments.

Who can garnish your wages, and why?

Life isn't always easy, and you would not be the first person to face financial challenges if such circumstances befell you. The bottom line is that, if you officially owe a business, government or person money, you must pay it back. The list below tells who may garnish your wages in this state, and for what reasons:

  • If you owe the government money for penalties, fines or taxes, it can take money directly out of your wages to satisfy your debt.
  • The government can garnish from your wages child support or alimony in arrears (meaning you owe a debt that you should already have satisfied).
  • Child support or alimony not currently owed.
  • Your unpaid student loans may also be subject to wage garnishment in Texas.

With regard to child support, your employer may be asked to garnish up to half of all your disposable earnings toward your debt. One can only imagine how difficult life may become if an income is cut in half. Your disposable earnings are those leftover after all mandated withdrawals from your pay check, such as insurance payments, retirement plan funds or taxes.

Texas law provides higher protection than many other states against employers firing workers with garnished wages. (Many employers do this because garnishment creates more work on their ends.) If you're facing problems because of child support wage garnishment, you may want to seek guidance from an experienced attorney who is well-versed in family law.

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