How the ‘gig economy’ makes it hard to collect child support

How the ‘gig economy’ makes it hard to collect child support

On behalf of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty, Attorneys at Law posted in Child Support on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

Parents with exes who are earning all or part of their income as contract employees can have a difficult time getting the child support they’ve been ordered by the court to receive if the parent ordered to pay it isn’t doing so.

More Americans than ever are working as independent contractors rather than employees of specific companies. The burgeoning “gig economy” of short-term jobs, sometimes for a single project, includes everyone from Uber and Lyft drivers to freelance website developers to highly-skilled professionals who contract out their skills. Even people who rent their homes out on Airbnb are considered part of the gig economy.

Working at temporary “gigs” allows flexibility that many people find attractive. It also makes it harder to track down their income. Businesses throughout the country are required by law to report new employees (full- and part-time) to a state database that is used by child services agencies to find and sometimes garnish money owed for child support.

However, many states don’t require employers to report independent contractors. Massachusetts does, as long as they earn at least $600 per year. Of course, that may not be something that’s knowable upon contracting with someone.

Another drawback of having a co-parent working in the gig economy who owes child support is that by the time the state gets the information or it’s otherwise tracked down, that person may be on to the next job.

There can be serious legal and financial penalties for those who don’t pay child support when they’re able to. Therefore, it’s best not to run from them. If you are having trouble making your court-ordered payments or you believe that the amount is unfair, talk to your Massachusetts family law attorney so that he or she can work to get the payments reduced, at least temporarily.

If you are a parent trying to collect the support that your children need, but your co-parent’s income can’t be located, an attorney can provide information about what steps you can take.

Source: Huffington Post, “Gig Economy Gives Child Support Scofflaws A Place To Hide,” Dec. 01, 2017