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Employer not paying court ordered alimony

Discussion in 'Alimony & Spousal Support' started by Amarette, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Amarette

    Amarette Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The employer was given court ordered garnishment for alimony and
    Says they are not in contempt of court for failure to pay on
    Payroll schedule. I was informed they can take ten days to pay
    This on-going debt. Can this be correct? the papers said I was to
    Be paid twice a month. They are already 3 days late and its very
    Difficult to deal with this. What is the answer?
    Thank you in advance.
    Amy Gibbons
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    How long ago were they provided with a copy of the court order?
  3. hrforme

    hrforme Active Member

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    I am not finding a definition of a "timely payment" although I have looked for it. Does the court order itself say 10 days? If so, then the employer has that full 10 days to pay -- are they 3 days late from the paycheck date or 3 days late from 10 days after the paycheck date? (and like cbg says, there is also the initial processing time of getting the order into the payroll system. when they received it compared to the next paycheck date will matter -- there could a lag time for it to be processed for the first time because it may have missed the processing cycle date)

    You have to realize it is generally never going to happen on the paydate -- that would be the most "timely" but virtually impossible to accomplish. Most state garnishment laws understand that employers need time to process the payment and they give them that time. Because the employer needs time after the paycheck processing is completed to send that payment to whomever the court order says to send it to. There seems to be no standard in CA as to where the money will go (court, individual, etc), so it depends on the court order. So a payroll department has to deal with many different orders and places to pay. Depending on their payroll processing vendor, this could be quick or it could be a manual process each payroll period for each court order. And often the amount changes depending on the disposable income calculation -- that is, the employer is limited to what % of disposable income they can garnish regardless of what the court order says. Say your alimony is $500 a paycheck and your ex-spouse only made $800. You won't get all $500 but some percentage based on federal wage and garnishment laws. It is up to the employer to calculate that each pay period.
    It is easier if your ex-spouse is exempt or salaried, harder if they are hourly.

    You could look at it this way -- you (or he) now have brought his employer into your marital/divorce issues because the alimony is not being paid outside of the garnishment. That is not the employer's fault. This is something that is outside of their business scope, but is something they are legally required to do. Sucks to be them, especially if they have to process a lot of orders for many employees. I understand you are just viewing it from your single individual viewpoint, but you have to realize this isn't just about one order for you.

    If in the end they aren't paying timely, there should be some contact on the court order to address that problem with.
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's actually a minimum. According to the instructions on the back of the Earnings Withholding Order:

    "The amounts withheld during the withholding period must be paid to the levying officer by the 15th of the next month after each payday. If you wish to pay more frequently than monthly, each payment must be made within 10 days of the close of the pay period."

    See for yourself:

    hrforme likes this.

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