Child support is a necessary monetary contribution by a non-custodial parent to ensure their child’s well-being. Just because support has been ordered or agreed upon does not guarantee that payments will be made on time or at all, however. According to the U.S. Census Bureau for 2011, 32 percent of custodial fathers and 25.1 percent of custodial mothers did not receive child support payments from the other parent. Information from the census was collected from individuals across a span of races, marital statuses, educational backgrounds and poverty levels.
At 18.3 percent, custodial fathers make up a small percentage of parents who retain custody of their children and necessitate child support payments from the other parent. On average, custodial fathers not receiving support payments have an annual income that is approximately $9,749 more than those custodial fathers who are receiving support from the child’s other parent. On the contrary, custodial mothers who are not receiving child support have an average household income that is approximately $4,132 less than those custodial mothers who are receiving child support payments.
Data also indicated that custodial fathers generally had only one child in their home, while custodial mothers were often responsible for more than one child. Also of note was that non-custodial mothers were more likely to contribute other forms of support in lieu of or in addition to money to the custodial parent, such as clothes, diapers and food. Custodial mothers were less likely to see this same type of non-support from a child’s other parent.
A parent who is not receiving child support payments from the other parent may consider speaking to an attorney regarding their situation. An attorney may be able to help the custodial parent take steps towards obtaining support for their child via agreement, court order or wage garnishment. An attorney understands that each situation is different, and legal advice may be provided based on circumstances unique to each family.