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Scores of workers have wages garnished for child support funds

What percentage of Americans have their wages garnished? Although you think this number might be relatively low, the truth might surprise you. A whopping one in 10 workers with annual incomes between $25,000 and $40,000 have their wages garnished. About 40 percent of those whose wages are garnished nationwide are subject to this action because of child support payments.

Information about Michigan residents and others nationwide was compiled and released in a recent study conducted by investigators at the ADP Research Institute. Nationwide, about 7.2 percent of wage earners are subject to wage garnishment. The Midwest is one of the hot spots for wage garnishments, particularly among blue-collar workers. Those employed in the manufacturing industry are among the most vulnerable for wage garnishment.

Wage garnishment for child support enforcement can take its toll on both the worker and his or her employer. Many employees are embarrassed to admit to their employers that wage garnishment is necessary. Further, employers take on additional risk when they undertake wage garnishment duties; if they fail to complete the task correctly, they could face creditor liability.

Perhaps one of the more unsurprising statistics: Men have their wages garnished for child support at a rate nearly 10 times that of their female counterparts. Experts say that this finding reflects the fact that men tend to pay child support more often, while women may be more likely to have primary physical custody. This trend may ultimately change, though, considering a nationwide shift toward joint custody arrangements.

If you are having difficulty making your monthly payments for child support, you may be eligible for child support modification. You do not have to simply submit to wage garnishment without a fight. Instead, a family attorney may be able to help resolve delinquent payments and get you back on the road to being compliant with child support enforcement.

Source: Accounting Today, "Wage Garnishments All Too Common among Workers" Michael Cohn, Sep. 15, 2014

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