My husband owes child support to another person. I am sole breadwinner. Can she go after my wages?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Albany, CA

He is stay-at-home father and works very little/makes very little money. We are married and we rely on my income to make ends meet. If he owes child support, can she go after my money? If we cannot afford to support our family with his wages being garnished, how can I claim an exemption? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks so much!

Attorney answers (3)

  1. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Legal authority does not support a court issueing a wage assignment against your regular employment wages for your current spouse’s support owed to his prior spouse. However, if you file joint tax returns any refunds can be garnished and you will have to file the appropriate paperwork with the IRS and/or the state to receive your ½ share of the return if the governing entity determines you to be an injured spouse. Additionally, if you have joint bank accounts a levy can be placed on the bank account and the account swept. While you may get your ½ share back eventually you will take a devastating financial hit in the meantime. It is in your best interest to consult with an attorney and determine the best ways to protect your current community funds from being applied to the child support debt of your spouse.

    DISCLAIMER: This answer and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and... more
  2. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Keep your funds in your name only, and put them in a separate account; do not have joint accounts. If you have real property make sure his name is not on the title before they record a lien. If he makes a less money than when the Order was initiated, file a motion to reduce child support. Provided his name is not on the account they cannot attach your earnings for child support. In regard to the claiming the exemption, you should speak to your CPA, tax consultant, or tax attorney.

    If you have found this information helpful, please let the attorney know by marking best answer. Thank you.... more
  3. Answered . The short answer is NO, she cannot go after your wages. However, the above poster makes a valid point. If you have money in a JOINT account, half of that money is community and belongs to him. If they were to issue a writ of execution on that account, they could seize the money.

    His CS is a SP debt, however, it can be satisfied by CP money. Keep it separate! As far as the tax exemption is concerned - generally, if the child lives with you over 50% of the time, usually you can claim the exemption. But you should talk to your tax preparer to get a clearer understanding of this issue.

    Attorney James R. Fox If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Child support

Child support is a payment made from one parent to another parent (usually from non-custodial to custodial), to help ensure the child's financial needs are met.

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