Wages, Salary and Income of the Head of A Family
The income or wages of the head of a family are exempt from garnishment or any other process of 'attachment' unless the person's net wages are more than five-hundred dollars per week, and that person has agreed in writing to allow the wages to be taken to pay the debt. The statutory definition of a 'head of family' now includes all natural persons who reside in Florida who provide more than one-half of the support for a child or any other dependent. Wages in a bank account that belong to a head of family retain their protection from being seized by creditors or by garnishment for six months even if the wages are mixed with money from other sources. If a 'head of family' has not agreed in writing to allow the garnishment or attachment of his or her wages, all the wages are exempt from any court process of attachment, income deduction or garnishment. You must file a sworn affidavit with the court to declare your 'head of family' status, to claim your exemption and to protect your wages from being taken. This is called a 'Head of Family Affidavit' and 'Claim of Exemption' and declares certain issues that must comply with the law. A hearing may be required if your head of family status is challenged, but the affidavit must be challenged with a written response under oath within two (2) business days.
Persons who do not qualify as head of family will still have the protection of federal law which limits the amount of wages that can be garnished. If you take home less than 30 times the minimum Federal wage per week, all of your wages are exempt. Otherwise, a judgment creditor can obtain twenty-five percent of your net wages under a continuing writ of garnishment until the judgment is paid in full.