Child support, if ordered, is an ongoing parental obligation that usually terminates when the child reaches eighteen years of age, graduates from high school, becomes married or is otherwise emancipated. The amount of child support owed is dependent upon a number of factors such as the income of both parties and the needs of the children. Child support is strictly enforced in a number of ways. Boxing champion Evander Holyfield recently learned that the court’s ability to enforce child support extends to celebrities. Holyfield was held in contempt of court for failing to pay past due child support.
In San Diego County, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) is one state entity that enforces child support orders. Holyfield was pursued by the Georgia Department of Human Services, which serves a similar function as DCSS. The Georgia Department of Human Services includes the Division of Child Support Services. By the time that the State of Georgia became involved in Holyfield’s case, his daughter, Emani Holyfield was eighteen years old and he owed $372,097.40 of unpaid support. By the time he was held in contempt of court, Holyfield’s debt had reached a staggering $563,000.00. The court ordered Holyfield to make payments in the amount of $2950.00 per month. In order to get a head start, Holyfield immediately made a payment of $17,700.
To ensure future compliance with the court’s order, the judge ordered a percentage of Holyfield’s income be used to pay down the support debt. In California, a party or DCSS can file a Earnings Withholding Order for Support. This is commonly known as a wage garnishment. Pursuant to a wage garnishment, a part of the paying party’s salary is given directly to the party entitled to either spousal or child support. It is important to note that a court must usually authorize a wage garnishment before an employer can enforce it.
The wage garnishment process can help the process of paying support move along smoothly for both parties. The party relying on the support will be sure to receive it on time and the paying spouse will not have to stress or worry about making the payments each month. Additionally, a garnishment further limits the contacts between the parties, which can be helpful in high conflict cases. While some parties may argue that a wage garnishment is embarrassing, it is a common method of collecting support. The payroll or human resources department of many organizations are highly familiar with the process because it is rather common. If you are entitled to support and the payor is delinquent or late in his or her payments, you may want to consider seeking a wage garnishment.
Please contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation , or have questions regarding child custody and visitation. Nancy J. Bickford is the only attorney in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.