Wage Garnishment & New Child Support Law

by Jose from Deltona, Florida, Volusia County

Can the state of Florida continue garnishing my wages past 18 while they try to modify my closed support order?

I have paid child support until DD turned 18 as it is worded in my original order.

At some point she was retained a grade (I have never met her and do not know the circumstances) and a month after she turned 18 they filed for modification.

In the meantime they continue with the income deduction and are holding the money pending hearing.

Is this legal when they have no order to continue deducting. I am current and the case was closed as of her 18th birthday (6/18/10).

As of today's date there is $600 of mine "on hold" and they continue to garnish my wages bi-weekly. Also, is there any basis to validly argue the modification? Thank you!

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Jose,

I think you are caught in the world of unintended consequences.

A few years ago, 2007 I think, Florida started extending child support until the child reached the age of 19 if the child was still in high school.

I think it was well intended. I think the reasoning was so that high school seniors who turned 19 during the school year could continue to have child support paid on their behalf. It all starts in kindergarten.

Florida schools have been very strict for a long time about allowing children to begin kindergarten until age five, even if the child was going to turn five the day after school started.

That child has to wait until the following fall to begin, and so would not graduate high school until age 19. A teen turning 19 during their senior year can easily happen, even if that teen was never held back a grade. Changes in child support orders were routine, based on those grounds.

The Florida Department of Revenue was actually contacting parents to let them know that they could have child support under this law.

The good news for you, is that the law is changing again.

As of January 2011, the age of majority stands at age 18, whether or not that child has completed high school.

I am guessing that the $600. that you have paid but has not been disbursed -- on hold -- is reflective of this second law change.

The law changes have been controversial. Otherwise, the same law would not have changed once, and then changed back. My suggestion is that you argue against paying child support beyond the age of 18. Now that you are armed with the knowledge that the law has changed to that anyway, should help.

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by: need advice

My case is in Missouri. I learned in August of 2011 that my child support case had been closed for a few months. My job continued to withhold my pay and send to the custodial parent. My son turned 18 in june of 2011. Did my job violate my rights by doing this? If a court had acturally closed the case, what gave them the right to continue to garnish my wages?

--This is unfortunate. I'm not sure how Missouri does it, but IDO's usually have a termination date or a termination event. Check with your employer to examine the order they have on file. Call the Child Support Office in your county and find out if they can issue an official order or notice so that your employer can stop deducting the child support from your paycheck. --Staff

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