Claudia Casillas was shocked when she opened her paycheck and found that $35.96 had been withheld under a mandatory wage assignment issued by the state of Arizona. The California woman claims to have only one child, now 20 years old. It turned out that the state of Arizona somehow made a mistake when it garnished her wages for child support. The matter was investigated by a local TV station in Arizona and was eventually resolved.
Mandatory wage assignment, also known as wage garnishment, is a process used by the courts in all parts of the country to force deadbeat parents and former spouses to pay what they owe. When a couple with children divorces, one parent is often granted full or primary custody of the children, while the other parent is required to pay child support to help support the children. In other cases, spousal support (alimony) may be ordered by the court. This is especially true when one spouse earns most of the money in a marriage. In these cases, the court may require the spouse who earns the larger income to continue to support his or her spouse even after the marriage has been dissolved.
If you are having trouble getting your former spouse to pay his or her child or spousal support payments, you may be able to get the court to order a mandatory wage assignment. A portion of your former spouse's income is automatically deducted from the paycheck and transferred to you to pay the debt. Garnishment is not an easy process. It is important to hire an attorney who is well versed in these matters to represent your interests.