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The role of the employer in child support enforcement

In order to account for the needs and best interests of children in the state of Texas, court-ordered child support agreements are strictly enforced. As a result, the state implements several techniques to ensure that noncustodial parents fulfill their financial obligations to their children. Wage garnishment is one such technique that is often utilized to recoup unpaid child support, and depends largely on the active participation of employers.

According to the Almanac of Policy Issues, federal child support enforcement processes sometimes involve the garnishment of wages. In many cases, the employer of the noncustodial parent in question is required by federal law to withhold the parent's wages in compliance with the child support agreement. The employer can withhold enough pay to account for current child support payments, in addition to any past due amounts. However, federal guidelines do impose limits on how much of the noncustodial parent's pay can be withheld.

The Attorney General of Texas discusses the role that employers play in the process of enforcing court-ordered child support agreements. It's estimated that 76 percent of the well over $3.5 billion worth of child support collected last year was through wage garnishment. Beyond that, it's believed that almost 204,000 kids in the state of Texas were enrolled in work-related health care plans as a result of employers responding to medical support notices.

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