Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

Can I garnish wages from a husband who has defaulted on a Divorce agreement?

My divorce agreement as of 11/2001 states that my ex-husband has to pay me $1000 per month until 80% of our debt (his portion) is paid off. He has barely made payments of $400 per month since then and has not paid me anything for the past 4 months consecutively and 9 months total since our divorce was granted. He says he got a new job about 2 months ago. Can I get his wages garnished? All of the debt is in my name and I can't afford to make payments on everything without his help. What is my legal recourse? If I get his wages garnished, can he just quit his job and not have to pay or will the judgement go on record so that anytime he gets a job he will have wages garnished until I'm paid off?

Asked on 5/27/03, 4:29 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Mary McDonagh McDonagh-Faherty Law Offices
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Re: Can I garnish wages from a husband who has defaulted on a Divorce agreement?

Unfortunately, anybody can keep quitting jobs. You can definitely garnish his wages - you just have to go back to court to do so.

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Answered on 5/28/03, 11:22 am
Lawrence Falli Falli Law Offices
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Re: Can I garnish wages from a husband who has defaulted on a Divorce agreement?

Can I get his wages garnished?

Yes you can. You have to bring a motion before the court asking for an order stating as much. A copy of the motion must be sent to the ex-spouse AND the employer.

What is my legal recourse? If I get his wages garnished, can he just quit his job and not have to pay or will the judgement go on record so that anytime he gets a job he will have wages garnished until I'm paid off?

He can keep quitting jobs, but you have a right to garnish them. You also can attach his bank accounts and have him held in contempt of court. Each of them has its plusses and minuses. My favorite is attaching his bank accounts (also requires a written motion sent to the court, the spouse and the bank). It is my favorite because he will not be able to pay his bills until you've exacted your pound of flesh.

For help with the motions, try the clerk's office, or contact an attorney.

Good luck.

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Answered on 5/27/03, 5:22 pm

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