What to do if I agreed to $100 garnishment of wages instead of the 25%?

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What to do if I agreed to $100 garnishment of wages instead of the 25%?

I provide more than 1/2 of the support for a child and have net earnings of $750 or less per week. I can’t afford the 25% garnishment. If I will be filing for bankruptcy, will this release the garnishment?

Asked on January 13, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Filing for bankruptcy will not release the garnishment because child support is one of the few obligations that is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  It can discharge other debts-- which will then make it easier to pay your child support obligation-- and that's about it.

If you can't afford your current obligation, you can see if the other parent will agree to a modification to reduce the obligation even further.  If you are already below the required guidelines, you will need his/her agreement to get this reduction.  Most courts will not agree to less than the standard guidelines absent an agreement.  

A second option is to petition for a modification of custody such that you have full custody or you and the other parent share custody in a pure "fifty-fifty" split.  If you have primary custody, then you will not be required to pay child support.  If you have a pure "fifty-fifty" split, then sometimes the judge will waive the child support requirement since both parents are raising the child.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under federal bankruptcy law, a bankruptcy filing may terminate your obligations for the wage garnishment that you have written about so long as the debt is not for child or spousal support.

You have the option of trying to modify the garnishment order in writing with the creditor voluntarily, filing a motion in state court to modify it or file for bankruptcy protection.


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