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Study of wage garnishment for child support and other reasons

A study released on Sept. 27 by the ADP Research Institute examined 2016 payroll data from 12 million workers and looked at wage garnishments. Some Arizona workers may be among the 7 percent throughout the country whose wages are garnished. More than 70 percent of people who face wage garnishment are men. Most of these garnishments are for unpaid child support. For women, wages are usually garnished for other types of debts such as student loans.

The study found that in one group, men in the Midwest who work in large manufacturing companies and are between the ages of 35 and 55, 26 percent had garnished wages. These men had an average income of $44,000.

There were more wage garnishments in the Midwest and the South than in other areas. These are also the regions that have more goods-producing companies, and these companies have more wage garnishments than the service sector.

Child support is usually calculated based on income and certain expenses such as the cost of medical insurance. One reason a parent may stop paying the full support amount is because of a change in income or expenses. However, a parent is not permitted to simply stop the payments if there is a formal court order in place. It is necessary to request a modification based on a change in circumstances. Since this modification is not retroactive, a parent should continue paying the same amount in child support to avoid falling into arrears and the possibility of interest until the court approves the change. An attorney can often be of assistance in preparing and filing the required motion.

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