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Checking the facts about child support

Child support payments can be critical for single parents and their families in El Paso struggling to pay the bills. These payments may be a major contribution to the significant expenses that come with raising children, including education, healthcare and other expenses. While many people expect that support payments are large and generous, the reality is often quite different for many single parents. The U.S. Census Bureau tracks facts about child support in the United States, including the amounts owed and paid and the number of people in the country with child support orders.

In a January 2016 report, the Census Bureau provided comprehensive statistics about child support across the country. The report noted that there are 13.4 million custodial single parents in the country. While many people think of child support as a fact of life for people in this category, in over half of all cases, it is not. Only 48.7 percent have a child support agreement in place whether obtained through the courts or arranged privately between the parents. The vast majority of agreements are handled legally, either through family court or a state agency.

In addition, many parents do not receive full payment of their monthly child support. While some non-custodial parents avoid paying support, financial problems can weigh heavily even on those who are devoted. This means that many people make and receive partial payments each month: While the average child support order hovers around $500 monthly, the average single custodial parent receives only around $329 each month.

Whether parents are going through a divorce or establishing a new framework after the end of their non-marriage relationship, child support can be essential to the well-being of the kids involved. A family law attorney may help pursue child support and have an order put in place that protects the child's rights.

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