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Some deadbeat parents are hiding income through gig work

Many New Jersey residents use gig work as their sole sources of income, and others perform this type of work to supplement their incomes. While the availability of gig work has been a financial boon to people, some parents have used the gig economy as a way to avoid their child support obligations.

Currently, the past-due child support balance in the U.S. is around $114 billion, which is an amount that increases with each year. Up to 70 percent of child support orders are enforced through wage withholding orders. The employers must withhold the child support amounts from their employees' paychecks and submit them to the state. However, gig workers who work on online platforms are not statutory employees. Many of the online platforms do not report that they have employed the workers for contract work, making it difficult for the states to discover where they are working.

Some states have passed laws requiring that all companies, including online platforms such as Uber and Lyft, report to the state when they have hired new contractors for gig work. However, many of these companies simply do not comply.

Child support enforcement agencies may find that the workers have simply stopped working via the online platforms by the time that they catch up to the gig work. People who are owed child support might benefit by getting help from experienced family law attorneys when the noncustodial parents have failed to pay. The attorneys may be able to secure copies of the noncustodial parents' bank statements and tax returns so that they can compare the parents' stated income with the deposits that have been made into their accounts. They might also file motions with the court in which they ask to hold the deadbeat parents in contempt of court. The courts may then sanction the parents in an effort to secure payments.

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