Child support data

Many single parents in Texas receive child support payments to cover the expenses associated with raising a child. While there are some political analysts who say that too much child support is paid to single parents, the United States Census Bureau has collected child support statistics that show evidence to the contrary.

The latest "Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support" report was issued by the Census Bureau in January 2016. The data in the report is intended to reveal a snapshot of the number of single parents who have an informal or formal child support order in place. The report also details how much money is owed and how much the parents actually receive.

Based on the information from the report, the number of custodial single parents living in the United States totals 13.4 million. Nearly half of the parents, or 48.7 percent, have some form of a legal or informal child support arrangement. Less than 25 percent of the custodial parents requested assistance from the government to obtain child support.

Out of those child support agreements, 89.8 percent of them are formal, which means they were established with the assistance of a Title IV-D agency or in court. The remaining 10.2 percent are informal and were developed between the parents.

In 2013, the amount of child support that was owed totaled $32.9 billion. Parents had to pay an average of $5,774 in child support annually, or less than $500 each month. The amount of child support that was actually received averaged $3,950 a year.

A family law attorney may assist clients with obtaining overdue child support. The attorney may submit a petition to have a current child support order enforced. Assistance might also be provided for requesting modifications to an existing child support agreement.

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