Many custodial parents don't receive child support

Texans might find it shocking to learn how few custodial parents receive child support in the United States. Raising a child through adulthood is very expensive, costing an average of $250,000 around the country. Still, many custodial parents still do not receive any child support from their children's noncustodial parents.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2013 Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support Report, just 48.7 percent of custodial parents had any type of financial agreement or court order in place obligating noncustodial parents to provide support for their children. Among those who did have agreements or court orders in place, only 45.6 percent received the payments in full. Another 28.6 percent received partial payments, while 25.9 percent of those with orders or agreements did not receive the payments at all.

In 2014, 22.1 million children under the age of 21 in the U.S. lived with only one parent. Of those custodial parents, 82.5 percent were women. Of those that received full child support payments in 2013, the amounts received accounted for an average of 17.7 percent of their total monthly incomes.

When child support is not in place, custodial parents lose a significant amount of income needed to provide support for their children. Raising a child is extremely expensive, and courts believe both of a child's parents should have the responsibility to support them financially. Child support is meant to help provide a standard of living similar to what the child might have expected if their parents had stayed together. When a parent fails to pay child support, then the child may suffer from a lower standard of living as a result. A custodial parent who does not have a child support order in place may want to meet with a family law attorney for help with filing a child support motion.

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