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An economy of short-term gigs limits child support options

Today's world is one with a gig economy. What's meant by that? It's one where people can live by completing small gigs here and there instead of working a traditional 9-to-5 job. Contracted employees are paid per job, and with that, have a potential to have child support withheld from those paychecks. The difficulty is that it's hard to find out what those individuals make and could be next to impossible to get the companies to cooperate.

Since contracted workers aren't employees, employers (or clients) don't have the same obligations to them. Employers of traditional full- or part-time workers have to report when they hire or fire them for the purposes of child support. That's not the same for contracted employees. In Texas, the state has started to include contracted employees in child support reporting, but not all states have followed suit.

Around $114 billion in child support goes unpaid each year in the United States. While seeking compensation from employees helps a significant amount of parents obtain the child support their children need, the gig economy doesn't lend itself well to that. By the time a business reports a new employee and the state attempts to garnish his or her wages, it's completely possible that the individual will no longer work there. Short-term gigs are normal for self-employed contractors, and there's not much that the state can do to collect support if it can't intercept the wages being earned.

If you're struggling to obtain child support, you're not alone. This is just one of the issues that could be preventing you from collecting. An attorney can help you learn of other ways that you might be able to collect past-due child support.

Source:, "People Are Using the Gig Economy to Avoid Paying Child Support," Dec. 01, 2017

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