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Written By: Brandy Miller | August 1, 2016 | No Comments

When a parent is ordered to pay child support, they are required to do so by law. Even declaring bankruptcy will not eliminate this obligation. Child support is intended to help pay for a child’s needs and to ensure your child has the best future possible, no matter what has happened to the parents’ relationship.

When Parents Don’t Pay Child Support

Unfortunately, as many families know, child support is not always paid in full and on time. Some parents go to great lengths to avoid paying child support. Some, for example, move frequently or simply refuse to pay.

In many cases, parents who are dealing with a parent who refuses to pay child support can seek legal redress. They can take legal action, for example, to order a parent to pay child support — including any arrears. If the parent continues to deny such requests, their wages may be garnished. This means an employer can be ordered to deduct child support payments automatically from a parent’s paycheck.

Avoiding Wage Garnishment

Unfortunately, some parents are determined to avoid paying spousal support and take measures to prevent paying what they owe. For example, some individuals may work as contractors or self-employed workers to illegally avoid having to pay child support.

Contractors and self-employed workers, under current tax laws, do not have anything withheld from their paychecks — including Medicare, Social Security payments, payroll taxes or child support garnishments. This means if a parent works as a self-employed person or contractor, they may be able to continue to avoid meeting their child support obligations.

Employers will sometimes hire self-employed or contractor workers because these employees allow them to save money on payroll taxes and workers’ compensation premiums. However, in Pennsylvania and in other states, it is illegal to misclassify workers.

If an employer hires a worker and controls how they work — for example, the employee is required to work in an office or on the employer’s computers or machines — they cannot be classified as a contractor or self-employed worker. In these cases, misclassification can be an IRS issue as well as a legal issue.

What Can I Do If I Suspect My Former Spouse Is Working as a Contractor to Avoid Child Support Payments?

Unfortunately, these cases can be quite complex. Often, investigators need to locate the former spouse, evaluate their working conditions and submit proof of employee misclassification. All of this can be lengthy and can require a professional investigator.

In many cases, you can get the sort of investigative support by working with an attorney. An attorney can hire an investigator, run a thorough check of the employment situation of your former partner, subpoena employment and payroll records and file a claim if your partner is trying to avoid child support payments. In addition, charges may also be levied against an employer who willfully misclassified an employee.

If your former partner is not paying child support as ordered by a court, contact Miller Law Group. Our law offices in Reading, Pennsylvania are always open to families needing family law support and representation. We work with families in Berks County and surrounding areas. We’d be happy to offer you a consultation so you can discuss your situation with one of our attorneys.