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Reasons you may need an earnings withholding order in Maryland

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Blog, Child Custody |

Earnings withholding orders, also known as wage garnishment, are useful for enforcing child support orders. When a parent fails to pay child support or falls behind on their payments, you can seek a wage withholding order to ensure that child support payments arrive regularly.

With around $9,000 per year paid in child support, wage garnishment can be an option to recover the support you need. The courts use a specific process to garnish the wages of the person who owes you child support. Here is an example of this process.

Court order

Initially, a court must issue a child support order specifying the amount of child support the non-custodial parent needs to pay. This order typically occurs during divorce proceedings but can also occur through a modification.

Income deduction

Once the child support order is in place, you can request an earnings withholding order. The courts then send it to the non-custodial parent’s employer, instructing them to withhold a portion of their wages to cover the child support obligation.

Notification to their employer

The employer is obligated by law to comply with the earnings withholding order. They will withhold the specified amount from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck. The money withheld goes directly to the appropriate government agency.

Payment distribution

The child support payments through wage garnishment are then disbursed to you or, in some cases, managed by the state’s child support agency.

It is important to note that federal laws, such as the Consumer Credit Protection Act, set limits on the percentage of a wage withholding order, ensuring that the non-custodial parent has sufficient income to cover essential living expenses.