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Most wage garnishments are the result of unpaid child support

Workers in Florida and around the country are more likely to have their paychecks garnished for delinquent child support payments than for any other reason according to a report released on Sept. 27 by ADP. Researchers studied the private payroll records of 12 million employees across the country, and they found that one in 14 American workers is subject to garnishments in general.

Wages can also be garnished due to bankruptcies, unpaid tax levies or delinquent student loans, but most of these deductions are ordered because child support has not been paid in a timely manner or in accordance with court orders. The report also suggests that workers in some parts of the country and employed in certain sectors are more likely to have their paychecks garnished. Garnishments are more common among workers employed in manufacturing goods than they are in the service sector, and they are also far more likely to be ordered by judges in Southern and Midwestern states.

More than one in four male workers between 35 and 55 years of age employed by manufacturing firms in the Midwest have their wages garnished, and many of them are making payments on more than one outstanding debt. Larger companies tend to deal with more garnishments than smaller firms even when workforce size is taken into account, and 71 percent of all wage garnishments are deducted from the paychecks of men.

Experienced child support attorneys may urge noncustodial parents to meet their obligations to avoid wage garnishments and other even more serious sanctions. Noncustodial parents who fail to support their children can find it difficult to renew their driver's licenses and may see their tax refunds held back, and those who are seriously delinquent could even be sent to jail.

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