You Have A Judgment For Support, Now What?


Oftentimes I hear these exact words when consulting with family law clients. They have been to court and awarded by the court a certain amount of money per month for either spousal support, child support, or both. However, not trusting the other party to pay them directly on the court-ordered date, they often wonder if there are other options for collecting the support so they do not have to worry about when they will receive the support and/or asking the other party month after month for the court-ordered support.

Generally, the answer is ‘yes’. Probably the most commonly known and used mechanism for obtaining the support from the other party, or what we in the legal field call ‘garnishing’, is a simple order to withhold. This document can be used in collection of either child support or spousal support if the party is a wage earning employee or, in other words, a W-2 employee. Generally, the document is served on the payroll department and shortly thereafter the support is paid directly to the party receiving the support from the payroll department of the paying spouse’s employer. This continues so long as the judgment is in full force and effect or until the paying party leaves the employer.

What if the other party is not a W-2 employee and are self employed? Well, certainly that makes collection more difficult but with a skilled family law attorney and a little more work, collecting can still be accomplished.

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