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Garnishing a tax return for child support arrears

As a custodial parent in San Antonio, you likely rely heavily on the child support payments you receive from your ex-spouse or partner in order to ensure that your children are properly cared for. Missed payments can therefore throw your financial state into disarray, forcing you and your kids to endure undue hardships. Fortunately, the state provides a number of different methods through which you can ensure child support payment enforcement. One that many who come to us here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza often inquire about at this time of the year is garnishing a federal tax return. 

The federal government typically limits who can take funds from someone's tax return. Yet child support arrears are one of the few cases which permit tax return garnishments. In this case, if your ex-spouse has any overdue payments, the local child support agency will be granted access to their federal return prior to it being dispersed to them in order to settle any missed payments. Thus, the matter of them settling their back payments with this additional income is taken out of their hands entirely. 

It should be known, however, that this benefit is not available for all child support cases. Yours is compared with a set of strict criteria before a garnishment can be initiated. According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, your ex-spouse must owe more than $500 in missed payments in order to garnish their tax return. This standard applies of you do not receive any other form of financial assistance. If you receive funds through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit program, your ex-spouse need only owe $150 in arrears to set up a garnishment. 

More information on enforcing a child support order can be found throughout our site. 

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