Garnishment of wages for payment of Florida child support or alimony is an attractive option for both payors and recipients of support because of convenience. Let’s look at the pros and cons of these types of order for both the payor and the payee.
By statute, when support is ordered in Florida, a court must enter an order of garnishment known as an income deduction order. If the parties agree for the payor to make payments directly to the recipient, the court can enter a delayed income withholding order which means it will not go into effect until the payor is late in making direct payment.
For a payor of support the pros and cons of an income withholding order may be as follows:
Pros: no need to remember to wire money, write checks, etc. since payment automatically withdrawn from check; State depository that processes payments keeps an accounting of payments made so you don’t have to keep paper or other receipts yourself (even though many would argue you should since the state depository can make mistakes); allows for easier budgeting since the money is already withdrawn from your paycheck and in a sense, you don’t “see” it.
Cons: There is a processing fee for each payment. If you are paid more than once per month, and the fee can be up to about $5 per payment, this can add up quickly. Also, sometimes when there are errors in the state’s accounting, this can result in burdensome court proceedings and fees.
For the recipient of support, the pros and cons may be as follows:
Pros: can set up a debit card to which payments are sent; accounting of payments is maintained by the state, offering the convenience of easier enforcement; no need to chase payor to pay directly each month.
Cons: enforcement can sometimes be a slow process if payor not paying.
These lists are not exhaustive, and some of the same issues may arise even when direct payment is being made. In any event, it is important to discuss the specifics of your case with a Florida child support lawyer so that he or she can guide you as to your best options.