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Austin TX Family Law Blog

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dealing With Child Support Evaders Who Purposely Seek Work as "Contractors"

As we all know, monthly child support amounts are calculated based on the payor’s monthly income and other financial factors, including monthly obligations to debts or other children. As is also common knowledge, it can be difficult to ensure that monthly child support amounts are paid on time and in full – prompting many recipient parents to seek alternative methods to guarantee payment.

In Texas, there are a number of ways to force a payor to make payments. One of the most popular and hassle-free options for forcing payment is through a wage garnishment. In this scenario, an employer must deduct the appropriate amount from each paycheck and withhold that amount for the payment of child support. However, even this seemingly foolproof method is not without glitches, since  some evaders have found a way around this method.

According to recent reports around Texas, an influx of child support payors have begun seeking work as independent contractors as opposed to full employees, thereby avoiding the imposition of a wage garnishment. When a worker is categorized as an independent contractor, the employer is under no duty to withhold anything on behalf of the worker, including taxes, Medicare, Social Security, and child support.

The misclassification of workers is an expanding problem in Texas, as many employers, also perceive benefits in it as a route to avoid paying payroll taxes. Nonetheless, a  worker who has no control over his or her daily tasks and is under constant direct supervision cannot actually be considered an independent contractor under state and federal rules. Likewise, misclassifying employment as contractual to avoid and evade child support is illegal, and can result in criminal and/or civil penalties.

If you are facing a difficult situation relative to child support payments or wage garnishment and would like to speak to a reputable attorney about your issues, please do not hesitate to contact the Texas law offices of Stinson Moyle at 512-320-9070.

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