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Child support the top reason for wage garnishment in US

Around one in 14 workers throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation have their paychecks garnished, according to a recent study by the ADP Research Institute. However, the study finds that some demographics are hit with more wage garnishments than others.

The study analyzed pay data and wage garnishments on 12 million American workers. The types of wage garnishments included in the study were child support, bankruptcy, tax levies and general garnishments like consumer debt and student loans. The study found that 7 percent of American workers are subject to wage garnishment, but these garnishments are not equally proportioned across all workers. For example, 26 percent of men between the ages of 35 and 55 employed in large Midwestern manufacturing jobs have their wages garnished. These workers earn an average of $44,000 per year.

Typically, paychecks are garnished through court orders, and a portion of a worker's salary is deducted until a debt is paid. According to the study, child support is the most common reason for wage garnishment, followed by consumer debt and student loans, tax levies and bankruptcy. Of workers with garnishments, 12 percent are subjected to multiple types. Ohio and Wisconsin are tied for the highest percentage of workers paying child support garnishments, with 5.5 percent each. Michigan is second, with 5.4 percent of workers paying child support garnishments. Indiana is third, with 5.3 percent.

Child support helps pay for a minor's everyday expenses, medical needs and extracurricular activities. Parents who are having difficulty collecting child support payments could seek the help of a family law attorney. The attorney could review the case and recommend the best legal remedy to the situation. For example, it may be advisable to petition the family court to garnish the noncustodial parent's wages.

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