Child Support is Important for Families Struggling with Poverty

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Child Support on Thursday, October 9, 2014.

Child support can sometimes be a difficult subject for families. In the United States, one in four children are due some amount of child support but only 62 percent of child support due in the U.S. is collected. Florida has one of the lower rates of collection. In addition, there exists a relationship between child support collection and poverty that points to the inability of some parents to afford child support payments. Those earning less than $10,000 annually accounted for 70 percent of the $70 billion in child support owed nationally in 2004.

On the other hand, it is usually the poorest families, in the greatest need of child support, that are not receiving it. Of parents who were supposed to receive child support in 2011, 27 percent lived below the poverty line. Of these parents, 40 percent received the child support they were due, however, 27 percent did not receive any of the child support they were due. This same group of parents, on average, relies on child support for half of their income.

While child support may be a challenging issue for society as a whole, there may be options available to parents struggling to make child support payments. Parents unable to meet child support obligations may be able to request a child support modification. A significant change in circumstances, such as the loss of a job, may allow for a modification in some circumstances. Alternatively, legal options also exist for parents seeking to collect child support that is due.

While the child support system seeks to ensure that monthly payments of child support that are due are collected, it may also provide options for parents struggling with delinquent payments and an inability to meet child support obligations. It may be helpful for parents to be familiar with the options and resources available to them through the child support system.

Source: The Washington Post, "How our child support system can push the poor deeper into poverty," Jeff Guo, Sept. 26, 2014

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