According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it can cost nearly $250,000 to raise a child from birth to adulthood. In 2014, 22.1 million children under age 21 were living in households with only one parent. Of those single parents, 82.5 percent of them were mothers. While many parents rely on a combination of cash and noncash assistance, less than half actually received any sort of support.
Of those who did have a child support order that required the other parent to pay support, only 45.6 percent of them received each payment that was due. However, that was up from 36.9 percent in 1993. On average, child support payments made up 17.7 percent of income when they received all payments that were due to them in 2013. Payments made up 7.7 percent of all personal income for those who received only a portion of what they were due.
The average payment received in 2013 was approximately $330 per month, while the average amount actually owed was $480 per month. Receiving support was deemed especially important for custodial parent families who were under the poverty line. Their support payments made up 70.3 percent of their income in 2013.
If a custodial parent wants a child support order or wants another parent to be compelled to follow an existing order, it may be a good idea to talk to a family law attorney. In addition, those non-custodial parents who have suffered an adverse change in their financial circumstances may want to have the assistance of an attorney in seeking a modification of an existing order.