Military Pay Garnishment In Colorado Springs Military Divorce and Family Law
Garnishment is an aspect of military divorce and family law if support obligations are not being paid. Garnishment means that an employer deducts amounts from an employee’s paycheck automatically and does not need the consent of an employee. These payments are then sent to the party who is owed the funds. When there is a court order for spousal or child support, those payments may be garnished from military pay, military retirement, and VA disability payments.
There are limitations on the amount that may be garnished:
- 50% if the servicemember is providing more than half the amount of support to other dependents not covered by the order.
- 55% if the member is providing more than half the support to other dependents not covered by the order, but has a support arrearage.
- 60% if the member is not providing more than half the support to other dependents not covered by the order.
- 65% if the servicemember is not providing more than half the support to other dependents not covered by the order, but has a support arrearage.
For active duty service members, generally only basic pay may be garnished. Pay garnishments due to nonpayment of obligations or debt can result in negative consequences for active duty servicemembers. Though, federal law prohibits an employer from firing an employee to avoid processing a garnishment. Although generally a court order is required as a basis for wage garnishment, the IRS may garnish wages without a court order based on its determination of debt owed to the government. A debtor must be legally notified of the garnishment and given an opportunity to respond and invoke any defenses or exemptions that may exist. It is possible to file a dispute if the notice has inaccurate information or the debt is not actually owed. There are also some defenses that may be applicable to pay garnishment:
- The creditor failed to comply with the Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act.
- There are provisions in the act that allow for a stay of proceedings if the servicemember can not be present at a court action due to military duty. There are certain steps that the member must follow after receiving notice of the proceedings such as requesting the stay and obtaining a letter from the commander stating that military duty precludes attendance and stating when the member will be available.
- Military duty caused the servicemember to be to be unable to attend the legal proceedings that resulted in garnishment.
- Information underlying the garnishment is false or contains errors.
- The court judgment has been satisfied.
How can an attorney help in military divorce and family law matters? A Colorado Springs divorce and family law attorney can guide you through the Colorado military divorce process. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on spending your time trying to figure out the overly complex court system. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.