Uncovering gig work as a source of child support

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Thursday, December 7, 2017.

The advent of the gig economy has provided new opportunities for many people in Illinois. As more and more people are turning to gig work, new problems have arisen for the collection of child support. Some parents who are ordered to pay child support have turned to gig work to try to evade their child support obligations.

Up to 70 percent of child support orders are enforced by withholding orders. These orders direct employers to deduct the amounts that their employees owe for child support and to submit them to the state. Since gig work is by contract, the workers who perform the work are not statutory employees. This means that the companies that pay them for the work do not necessarily report that they are employed to the states in which they live.

A few states have reacted to this problem by requiring online platforms to report when the companies have hired new gig workers. Unfortunately, not all of the companies follow these reporting laws. The states are hesitant to come down hard on the businesses because they depend on partnering with them to recover child support payments for the custodial parents.

A parent’s failure to pay child support may result in multiple penalties. The past-due amounts do not go away, and they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. When parents fail to pay child support, the courts may use multiple means to secure payments. The parents may have to serve jail sentences, have their wages garnished, have their tax returns seized and have liens placed on their property. Experienced family law attorneys may be able to uncover hidden sources of income so that their clients might be able to recover the child support amounts that they are owed. The attorneys may review financial records, tax returns and social media posts in order to uncover the evidence.

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