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Statistics: 3 in 5 parents miss out on child support payments

Many Louisiana parents who are dealing with overdue or unfair child support payments may be wondering whether they are alone in their situation. The answer: a resounding, "no." Millions of Americans are struggling to get by without receiving the child support they need to raise their kids. Further, there are probably more single parents who are suffering through the same situations as a large population of Louisiana residents. Today, a look at exactly who should be - and who actually is - receiving the child support they need.

Newly released statistics from the Congressional Research Service shows that about 14.4 million American parents live with children under the age of 21, with the other parent residing somewhere else. Further, the total amount of child support received every year nationwide is about $23.6 billion. The vast majority of child support recipients - 82 percent - are mothers. About two-thirds of those parents are currently divorced or were never married.

Interestingly, about half of the child-support recipients work full-time year-round, while about 40 percent require public assistance to meet their basic financial needs.

Not surprisingly, the amount of child support owed rarely matches the amount that is actually paid. Only about 38 percent of parents receive some amount of owed child support; on average, that totals between $4,000 and $5,000 annually. Just 19 percent of parents received the full amount of the child support, however, with many receiving partial payments.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the non-custodial parent to make these important payments in the interests of the child. Louisiana parents who worry that their financial situation is untenable because of their child support situation may benefit from child support modification. This can be helpful for parents who have lost their jobs, for instance. Family attorneys in Baton Rouge can help these clients learn more about their legal rights for paying and receiving child support.

Source: Daily News, "Who Exactly Gets Child Support? Beyond the Myths" James Warren, Jan. 06, 2014

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