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How much can child support garnished?

Lynnwood, WA |

I only made 800.00 for one month before taxes, child support garnished my bank account for 600 left me me nothing. This is back child support. I been making monthly child support payments but fell behind when I didnt have a job & was trying to get one. There was a custody change and going through court for a year, court made me pay back support when I lost custody. Can they take your whole months salary leave you with nothing? How can I work, pay rent, monthly child support if they take all the money. I have not one cent to my name I am being forced to leave my residence because I have no rent to pay on the 1st, I cant pay my monthly child support and now will loose my job. This just doesnt seem right when someone is really trying to pay support and now its to the point of hopeless.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. There are limits to the amount that can be withheld, based on income. Make sure you provide all your current income information to DCS. You may have to file a petition to modify the child support order. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on child support for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

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  2. In a similar position myself years ago, I can personally recommend that you keep in good contact with the office of support enforcement. They worked with me, might do the same. They do not always know how much money you make every month. Difficult to tell if your source of income is fluctuating, temporary, etc. Usually they do not garnish more that 50%. However, these orders are created often months in advance. You should be assigned an enforcement caseworker if you don't have one already. Highly recommend you contact them. Be honest, courteous, and s/he will likely work with you on modifications.

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