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Some statistics about child support in the United States

In order to protect the best interests of the child and to maintain as close to a "normal" or consistent standard of living for children involved in a divorce, courts may award child support payments to the custodial parent during divorce proceedings.

This is a common practice in the United States, evident by findings by the United States Census Bureau. Nearly half of all custodial parents had informal or legal child support agreements with the non-custodial spouse. Mothers were more likely to have agreements, at 52.3 percent, than fathers, 31.4 percent of whom had support agreements with the mother.

Collecting legal child support payments can still be an issue for some parents, however. Although nearly three quarters of custodial parents expecting child support payment received at least some payments, less than half, 45.6 percent received full payments. Support does extend beyond just financial support however, with a majority of parents, 61.7 percent, receiving non cash support from the noncustodial spouse.

Collecting child support is crucial for some families to maintain a healthy and productive lifestyle for their children. In 2013, the approximate amount of child support throughout the United States was more than $30 billion dollars. During the spring of 2014, according to the Census, there were approximately 13.4 million custodial parents living with over 22 million children at the age of 21 or younger. If people are in the process of a divorce and know that child support will likely be part of the divorce process, it is important to make certain that they have support to assure a favorable outcome in court.

Source: United States Census Bureau, "Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support," Accessed on June 28, 2016

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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