A garnishment is a way of collecting money from a defendant by ordering a third party (usually an employer) to pay money, otherwise owed to the defendant, directly to the plaintiff. Florida is one of the few states in the country to allow an exemption from wage garnishment. In Florida, the wages of the “head of family,” meaning the person who provides greater than 50% support for a child or other dependent, may be exempt from garnishment altogether. However, the wages are subject to a waiver and a cap on the earnings that can be exempted.
Florida statutory law provides the exemption from wage garnishment to the head of family’s disposable earnings if they are less than or equal to $750 a week. Disposable earnings are the earnings of any head of family remaining after subtracting the amount the government withholds from those earnings. In addition, individuals that make over $750 a week also qualify to receive the exemption unless they have agreed to a waiver in writing. The agreement to waive the protection provided must:
1. Be written in the same language as the contract or agreement to which the waiver relates;
2. Be contained in a separate document attached to the contract or agreement; and 3. Be in substantially the following form in at least 14-point type.
It is important to know your rights when creditors are attempting to garnish your hard earned wages. Florida provides this protection so that people who have fallen on hard times may get back on their feet again before having to deal with creditors. If your wages have been garnished and you believe you fall under the exemption contact a Jacksonville Lawyer today.