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Statistics on child support in the U.S.

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2022 | Divorce

If you owe child support, receive child support or expect to find yourself in this position soon because you are splitting up with your child’s other parent, it is crucial to understand your responsibilities and rights. Every parent is in a unique position, and it is essential for you to focus on safeguarding your child’s best interests as well as your own interests. Reviewing data on child support in the U.S. provides a clearer understanding of this topic.

Whether you struggle to pay support or are not receiving payments, this data also serves as a reminder that you are not alone.

Child support and custodial parents

The U.S. Census Bureau states that during 2018, 20.9% of custodial parents had reached out to social services, a child support enforcement office or a welfare office for help with child support at some point in the past. Most of these parents sought assistance with collecting child support owed to them or establishing a court award or legal agreement.

In 2018, 51.4% of custodial mothers had a formal child support agreement or award, compared to 41.4% of custodial fathers. Custodial parents who had legal child support orders and informal agreements should have received, on average, $5,519 over the course of 2017, which equates to about $460 each month.

Data on unpaid child support

The Census Bureau reports that during 2017, 5.4 million custodial parents should have received child support payments. However, only about 45.9% received the full amount of support owed from the non-custodial party. 24% of custodial parents said that they received some child support in 2017, and 30.2% did not receive any payments at all.

If you owe child support, or the other parent is not paying, make sure you go over your options.