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Garnishing wages from contract workers is difficult

New York lawmakers continue to hear from single parents about the difficulty of obtaining agreed and ordered child support payments from their children's other parent. The solution for many parents to guarantee payment is garnishing wages from the paying parent's paycheck. Unfortunately, the new gig economy that companies such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb are encouraging is making it easier for parents to hide their income and avoid child support payments.

Child support is designed to encourage both parents to financially support involved children of a separation or divorce. Usually, the spouse that the children live with the majority of the time and/or makes less money is owed child support by the other parent. Now, with more adults choosing contract work over full-time employment, many parents are able to hide their income. States have laws that require employers to report new employees to a child support database, but most states do not require the reporting of contract workers.

Considering 2.5 million workers now depend on contract payment, many states, including New York, are considering requiring employers to report all workers to the child support database. Unfortunately, states that already have the law in effect report that companies do not always comply with the law. In addition, because contract work can be inconsistent, workers can easily switch employers.

Some parents who are owed child support and do not have the option of garnishing wages from the other parent have been helped by family law attorneys. Some attorneys are able to use tax returns and other evidence to prove that a parent has more income than they report. In some circumstances, attorneys also use social media postings as evidence of a lifestyle that would require more income than has been reported.

Source:, "Gig Economy Gives Child Support Scofflaws A Place To Hide", Jen Fifield, Dec. 1, 2017

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