Child support is a great idea in theory. It forces parents to share in the responsibility of raising their children. It prevents parents from skipping out on their financial duties to their children. But child support is a complicated picture. It is not always enforced, nor are the amounts always given. When both parents agree, the process proceeds smoothly. But rarely do parents agree.
In 2001, 6.9 million parents were entitled to receive child support from their ex-partners. Those payments are earmarked for education, medical expenses, food, and other costs to raise a child. But of those 6.9 million parents, only 44.8 percent would receive the full amount of child support. The rest would receive only some or none at all.
In fact, parents are due to receive an average of $5,000 in child support. But in reality, they only collect about $3,200 or around 60 percent. To put that in total numbers, those 6.9 million parents are due $34.9 billion in payments but only receive around $21.9 billion.
The lack of steady payments forces 36.5 percent of families to seek government assistance either through welfare programs or enforcement of child support orders. Either way, neglectful parents end up costing the government (and taxpayers) money.
As you can imagine, enforcing child support orders is a priority for many state governments to avoid this very problem. But just because the government may be nominally on a particular side, does not make enforcing the order simpler. If you are engaged in a child support dispute, then you may want to contact a lawyer for assistance. These arguments are complicated and nuanced. You don't want to risk reduced payments because you did not address the full economic reality of raising a child. Attorneys answer these questions every day and can assist you in getting the support that you need to raise your family.