After you get a spousal, or partner support court order, your former spouse, or domestic partner must start making support payments to you. These payments come into effect by a specific date issued by the court. It is a court ordered earnings assignment, or “wage garnishment,” which tells the employer of the person ordered to pay support, how much to deduct from each paycheck, and where to send the payment to. If the spouse/partner ordered to pay support is regularly employed, the employer will take support payments directly out of his or her paycheck.
Most support during/after separation is paid this way, and federal and state laws require it in almost all support cases. It is the employer’s responsibility to withhold the wages if there is an earnings assignment. If your former spouse or partner also has a child support earnings assignment in place, child support is deducted first. In this case, there are exceptions to wages being automatically deducted by the employer depending on whether or not the local child support agency is involved.
When the local child support agency is not involved, both parents can agree that payments can be made in some other way and can ask that service of the earnings statement. In this situation, the former spouses/partners work out how spousal or partner support will be paid and handle it between themselves. If the local child support agency is involved in your case, they will automatically issue an earnings assignment and begin collecting from your former spouse or domestic partner’s employer. Regardless of whether the support is an agreement between the former partners or garnished from their employer, the spousal support is always deducted after child support.
If you have specific questions about wage garnishment and divorce contact Thorsteinson Law Group, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney.