Maximum Child Support Obligation

We receive many contacts concerning parents being impoverished by the court ordered child support obligations. If this is your concern, you may be interested in the following provisions of the United States Code regarding RESTRICTIONS ON GARNISHMENT.

The maximum NET INCOME (after-tax income) allowed to be garnished from someone's wages, where the garnishment is for the purpose of support, is as follows:

If a person has a spouse (is married) and/or has other children he or she is supporting directly.

  • 50% of the person's disposable earnings.
  • 55% of the person's disposable earnings, if the order includes repayment of arrears more than 12 weeks delinquent.

If a person is single and has no children living with him or her.

  • 60% of the person's disposable earnings.
  • 65% of the person's disposable earnings, if the order includes repayment of arrears more than 12 weeks delinquent.

The provision of the United States Code which defines this is:

15 U.S.C. section 1673 Restriction on garnishment

(b)(2) The maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment to enforce any order for the support of any person shall not exceed -

(A) where such individual is supporting his spouse or dependent child (other than a spouse or child with respect to whose support such order is used), 50 per centum of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; and

(B) where such individual is not supporting such a spouse or dependent child described in clause (A), 60 per centum of such individual's disposable earnings for that week; except that, with respect to the disposable earnings of any individual for any workweek, the 50 per centum specified in clause (A) shall be deemed to be 55 per centum and the 60 per centum specified in clause (B) shall be deemed to be 65 per centum, if and to the extent that such earnings are subject to garnishment to enforce a support order with respect to a period which is prior to the twelve-week period which ends with the beginning of such workweek.

(c) No court of the United States or any State, and no State (or officer or agency thereof), may make, execute, or enforce any order or process in violation of this section.


If you need help, contact the Wisconsin Fathers Helpline 

Let your voice be heard:
Are you unhappy about the way you were treated in your case or about current
laws?  Let your legislator know about it.  They are the ones who can change the
laws that the courts enforce.
Contact your legislator.

Get involved and join now!
For $30 you can become a member of WFCF.