Texas laws allow for wage garnishment in order to meet an individual’s pre-existing obligations, such as child support, defaulted student loans, or unpaid income taxes. A court will also apply wage garnishment laws for alimony or spousal support dues.

What is wage garnishment? 

Wage garnishment means that the government will withhold a certain portion or percentage of your wages, so that you can meet another pre-existing financial obligation, which can include alimony or spousal support.

How does the court decide the amount of wages they will garnish? 

In order to meet your spousal support dues, the government will order your employer to remove a certain percentage of your income before it is paid to you, but there are restrictions on how much can be garnished. Your employer must leave behind enough money in your paycheck for you to meet your basic living expenses. Discuss what that means with a Texas divorce lawyer.

In the case of court-ordered spousal support dues, your employer can be ordered to garnish up to 50 percent of your paycheck. Your spousal support obligation must be ordered by the court for wage garnishment to apply in your case. An oral agreement between you and your ex-spouse will most likely not be eligible for wage garnishment.

What can I do to avoid wage garnishment? 

The simplest thing that you can do to avoid wage garnishment is make your spousal support payments on time every single month. Remember, this is a legal obligation, and your ex-spouse could even initiate a civil action against you for failure to pay spousal support. The legal action can even include a contempt of court order.

Failure to pay spousal support can have other serious consequences, such as losing your driver’s license, fines, and even incarceration. These more severe consequences are usually reserved for those who can afford to pay, but refuse to make alimony payments.

If you are having trouble making spousal support payments because of income or job loss, speak to a Texas divorce attorney about how you can get your spousal support order modified to take into consideration your new financial circumstances.

For help with modification of your spousal support order, or to understand what you can do if you are behind on your spousal support payments, call Texas divorce lawyer Julie Johnson at 214-265-7630 or fill out an online contact form to discuss your case and determine your options today.