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Enforcing an alimony obligation through a wage garnishment

When you and your ex-spouse establish your alimony agreement in Clarksville, you may initially feel confident that he or she will fulfill that obligation. Many of those that we here at Runyon and Runyon work with may have had that same confidence, only to end up struggling financially due to months and months of unpaid spousal support. If that accurately describes that situation that you are currently in, you should know that you do have resources to help collect alimony arrears. One such resource is a wage garnishment.

A garnishment is an agreement made between the court and a garnishee (in this case, your ex-spouse’s employer) to withhold a certain portion of his or her earnings in order to meet a financial obligation. According to the United States Department of Labor, federal law allows for up to 50 percent of your ex-spouses wages to be garnished to meet alimony payments is he or she is currently supporting another spouse of child. If he or she has no other dependents, that amount may increase up to 60 percent. If he or she is more than 12 weeks delinquent on his or her payments, and additional 5 percent may also be added.

To initiate a wage garnishment, you provide the court with information regarding where your ex-spouse works. A levying officer of the court then serves his or her employer with a writ of garnishment. Given that the obligation for alimony has already been established as part of your divorce decree, the company may be viewed as having an obligation to meet the garnishment unless it shows your ex-spouse no longer works there or does not make enough to meet the arrears.