Current law requires an employer to withhold the amounts required by an earnings withholding (wage garnishment) order from the earnings of an employee payable for any pay period that ends during the withholding period specified in the order. Existing law provides an exemption from such garnishment for the portion of the employee’s earnings that the employee proves is necessary for the support of the employee or their family. However, under prior law, this exemption is not available if the debt was incurred for the common necessaries of life furnished to the judgment debtor or the family of the judgment debtor.

Assembly Bill 1388 deletes that exception for the common necessaries of life. Instead, this legislation provides an exception from the exemption to wage garnishment for a debt incurred pursuant to an order or award for the payment of attorney's fees in connection with certain family law proceedings.

Enacted October 2011. Link: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1351-1400/ab_1388_bill_20111009_chaptered.htmlf 10/18/11