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Making sense of child support data

| May 23, 2018 | Child Support |

On average, a single custodial parent in Arizona or elsewhere in the country is owed less than $500 per month in child support. This was one of the findings from the “January 2016 Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support” report. It is released by the U.S. Census Bureau using the most recent information available to come up with its findings.

In 2013, the average single custodial parent was owed $5,774 in support annually. However, those parents only received $3,950 per year on average, which translates to $329 per month. That money is used to help buy food, provide shelter and otherwise take care of a child’s needs. Furthermore, 25.9 percent of the parents who were awarded child support in 2013 received none at all in spite of the fact that 89.8 percent of those who had a child support agreement created it through the court system.

It should be noted that 61.7 percent of custodial parents did receive support that was not financial in nature. When the 2016 report came out, there were 13.4 million custodial single parents living in the United States. In 2013, they were owed a total of $32.9 billion in support payments. Statistically, single custodial mothers were more likely to receive support compared to fathers in 2013.

Individuals who have not received child support payments as ordered may be able to ask a court to compel a noncustodial parent to make them. In some cases, it is possible for parents to come to a compromise to help a noncustodial parent get through a job loss or other setback. However, failure to make payments could result in jail time or other penalties. Those who are struggling to stay current on their support may be able to ask for a modification.