When it comes to divorce, every state has specific guidelines for wage garnishment limits. California divorce law does not provide its own rules in terms of the maximum amount of earnings that can be subject to garnishment. Therefore, California goes by Federal law. The idea is that wage garnishment is limited so the amount being garnished does not exceed cost of living. Limits are placed depending on your disposable income. Disposable income, or earnings are those wages left after the deductions required by law, are made.
In a California divorce, the limits imposed are:
• Creditors may garnish the lesser of 25 % of disposable earnings
• The lesser of the amount by which weekly disposable earnings exceed 40 times the hourly minimum wage.
For example if you make $2,000 per week and your disposable earnings are $1,700 after the required deductions, then 25% of that amount is garnished which would be $425. If going by minimum wage, which in CA is $10.00, then 40 times that amount would be $400. As a result your wages can be garnished up to $425 or $400 a week.
In a California divorce, larger amounts are allowed for debts related to child support. The amounts exempt from garnishment in these cases varies by state law, as well as by other circumstances. The wage garnishment is released when the amount on the garnishment is paid. However, if an additional balance accrues on a delinquent account, they may issue another garnishment. If the state issued a garnishment in error, you must notify the state of California Franchise Tax Board as soon as possible and have them verify the error. They mail garnishment release notices, but can also fax them when requested. It is important to understand wage garnishment and get the best legal advice when having to decipher what types of support will be paid once the divorce is final to avoid garnishment.
If you have specific questions about wage garnishment and/or divorce contact Thorsteinson Law Group, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney