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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Child support numbers are shocking

People in Tennessee may be interested in learning that a majority of custodial parents in the United States do not have any child support orders or arrangements in place. Many others who do have orders for child support do not receive the payments that their children's noncustodial parents are supposed to pay. This creates a huge problem as many custodial parents rely on the income from child support in order to provide a decent standard of living for their children.

According to data from the 2013 Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support Report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 5.7 million families in the United States that were owed child support in that year. Of that number, only 45.6 percent received full payments for the amounts they were owed.

Among custodial-parent families that did have child support orders, 25.9 percent received no payments at all from the noncustodial parents while 28.6 percent only received part of what they were owed. At the same time, for the parents that did receive full child support payments, the amount they received made up an average of 17.7 percent of their monthly incomes.

Raising a child from birth to adulthood can cost a significant amount of money. As a matter of public policy, both of a child's parents are expected to contribute financially to the costs of raising their child. When a parent fails to contribute or becomes delinquent in their payments, the custodial parent may want to meet with a family law attorney about getting help. An attorney can often assist in filing a motion with the court in order to seek enforcement measures such as wage garnishment.

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