For New Jersey parents with child support obligations, payroll deductions and withholdings are some of the most common means by which their monthly payments are collected. Around 70 percent of all child support payments are made through direct payroll collections. Even when a parent attempts to evade their child support responsibilities, employers are required to report their newly hired workers to a child support database that is shared between states. Workers at a new job can face enforcement actions and even the garnishment of their paycheck if they fail to pay their court-ordered child support.
A new wrinkle has arisen in this child support enforcement system, however: the rise of the gig economy. This term includes the wide range of jobs through which people are paid as independent contractors, from driving for Uber to renting out their spare bedroom on Airbnb. Only some states require companies to report their contractors to the child support database, making it more difficult to track down parents who are mainly receiving income from these types of activities. In addition, these jobs can often be transient; by the time a state agency finds out that the parent has a gig industry job, they may have long since moved on.
The overall percentage of contractors in the American economy has risen significantly, from 10.1 percent in 2005 to 15.8 percent 10 years later, and that trend shows no sign of decreasing. Some parents seek to avoid reporting this type of income in order to evade their child support responsibilities, yet their tax returns and lifestyle may reveal their true financial situation.
Single parents who are struggling to make ends meet because their former partners will not pay child support obligations can take action to seek enforcement. A family law attorney may work with the family court and state agencies to pursue enforcement against the non-paying parent.