Confer with a child support attorney to determine whether the state can garnish wages for child support if you will be paying or receiving support payments. In North Carolina, wage garnishment is a common way for the state to collect unpaid child support payments. If you are unfamiliar with the child support system, you may want to contact an experienced child support attorney to learn more about the ways that child support can be collected.
How Much Child Support Will You Owe?
The amount of child support that a supporting parent pays depends on many different factors. When a parent petitions the court for child support, a judge decides how much each parent should pay. The factors considered in determining this amount include each parent’s expenses and income, the child’s needs, and your living situation, among others.
Once the judge decides the amount of child support, neither parent can change that amount unless they have court approval. There are three typical situations when a child support payment could change:
- There is a substantial change in circumstances, and a parent requests a review of the payments
- Three years have passed since the initial order, and a parent requests a review of the payments
- Three years have passed and the family is receiving public assistance
Substantial changes in circumstances could include, for example, an increase in the other parent’s earnings or a job loss.
Note that after the court order is signed, parents cannot decide to change the court order on their own. One parent cannot choose to pay less than the court-ordered amounts of support. Before a court order is made, however, parents can draft a separation agreement that allows the parents to mutually agree on the amount of child support to be paid.
Will the State Garnish Wages for Child Support?
In North Carolina, the court can order wage garnishment to fulfill a child support obligation. This means that if someone does not pay all or part of their monthly child support payments, the state can require their employer to take out part of their pay and send it to the state. The money is used to pay past due child support.
The court can order garnishment of up to forty percent (40%) of a parent’s net wages to pay child support. Once an order to garnish wages for child support goes into effect, the employer legally has to withhold the set amount of wages and send it to the state. The employer does not have to consider the employee’s wishes.
Garnishment can only be ordered if a parent has violated a court order for child support. A violation of a separation agreement with child support provisions will not be sufficient for the court to order wage garnishment.
How Can You Get Help Enforcing a Child Support Order?
If you need help enforcing a child support order, you need to reach out to a North Carolina divorce lawyer. North Carolina family law and divorce lawyers can assist with child support issues, including enforcement. If you need help modifying a child support order, a lawyer can help too.
Your child support attorney can advise you on your options for enforcement or modification of the order. Garnishment of wages may be an option, but you will need legal help to get the court order requiring the employer to garnish wages for child support. There are other legal options for parents who have not received all the child support due to them. Those who need modification of a child support order have legal options too. But going through the proper legal channels can be complicated and confusing. Because child support is such an important issue for families, seeking a North Carolina divorce and family law lawyer’s help is a good idea.
Let a Child Support Attorney at New Direction Family Law Assist You
If you need help with a child support issue, the team at New Direction Family Law has an experienced child support attorney available today to answer your questions. With decades of combined legal experience, our attorneys are knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate professionals. We will help you understand your legal rights and work hard toward your best outcome. We proudly serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 646-6561 to schedule a consultation, or visit us at our website.