Garnishments are issued by a clerk or judge to collect a debt that is based on a court judgment
against you. Wage garnishments are served by the Sheriff on your employer, who is responsible for
taking a certain amount of money out of your pay.
If you are supporting a spouse, a dependent child under the age of eighteen (18), or a dependent
child who is deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration, you may be entitled to a head of
family exemption from a garnishment. Under Sections 513.440 and 525.030.1, RSMo, persons who
are eligible for this exemption can limit the amount taken out of their pay.
If you qualify for a head of family exemption and the debt owed is not for the support of another
person, ten percent (10%) of your disposable earnings may be withheld from your wages. See Sections
513.440 and 525.030.1, RSMo. “Disposable earnings” is defined as your pay minus any required
deductions. Required deductions are federal, state, and local taxes and withholdings for Medicare and
If you qualify for the head of family exemption and the debt owed is for the support of another
person, fifty percent (50%) of your disposable earnings may be withheld from your wages. However,
this amount can increase to fifty-five percent (55%) if the debt is for past-due support. See 15 U.S.C.
1673 (b)(2). Usually, debts of this kind are for child support or maintenance.
To claim the head of family exemption, you must complete the affidavit on page one. Return the
completed affidavit to your employer for computing the garnishment percentage.
NOTE: When you receive notice of a garnishment, you should immediately check with your
employer. If your employer is already taking out the correct amount from your pay, you may
not need to file this affidavit.
If you have any questions about your rights regarding the garnishment, you should speak
with an attorney.
OSCA (03-05) CV 95
2 of 2
Rule 90.15, 513.440 and 525.030 RSMo