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Child support payments

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Q. Do we have to deduct child-support payments from employee wages?

A. If you have received a court order to do so, the answer is yes. Even though Texas is one of the few states that does not routinely permit garnishment of wages, court-ordered child support is an exception.

An employer who follows a court order and deducts from an employee’s wages is not liable for the amount of income withheld to satisfy the child-support payments.

Failure to comply with the court order will make the employer liable to the person seeking to enforce the order for the amount not paid, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Moreover, an employer may be subject to a fine of up to $200 for each occasion on which it fails to withhold court-ordered child-support payments.

The maximum amount that can be withheld from an employee’s wages is 50%. If you get multiple garnishments that would exceed this amount, you should get advice from an attorney on how to handle them. Although an employer can deduct a $10 per month administrative fee to cover the expense, it is against the law to retaliate or take any adverse action against the employee whose wages are being garnished. 

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