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Gig economy income and child support payments

Unfortunately, many noncustodial parents in Maryland fail to pay their mandatory child support obligations. That's why there are a number of systems that have been set up for child support enforcement in the workplace, including paycheck garnishments. Roughly 70 percent of all support payments are collected through an automatic payroll deduction.

However, the rise of the gig economy, including rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, food delivery services like Deliveroo and home rental options like Airbnb, has led to various types of income that can be far more complex to pursue. In most cases, people who take gig economy jobs are considered independent contractors rather than employees. This means that employers are not required to report these contractors to a state or federal child support database. If the parent is behind on their child support, no one is likely to be aware of their new income from the gig economy. Some states are beginning to require that companies register their contractors as well.

There is around $114 billion in unpaid child support owed across the country. In some cases, parents seek to hide income to avoid child support payments. While this can be difficult with a traditional full- or part-time job, contractor work can make it easier to mask the true amount of income a parent is bringing in on a regular basis.

Of course, there are other challenges as well, including the fact that people tend to come and go from these jobs quickly. However, single parents who are facing difficulties due to a former partner's lack of child support payments can work with a family law attorney. A lawyer can help parents to seek action to enforce a child support order through wage garnishment.

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