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Child support delinquency rates continue to rise

Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that less than half of the parents in Texas and around the country who have been awarded child support received the full amount due in 2015. Even more alarming was the disclosure that almost a third of custodial parents received no money at all. The number of deadbeat parents in the United States has been growing steadily for several years, but the 2015 figures show that child support delinquency rates have now reached levels not seen since 1993.

More than a quarter of the children in the United States live in a one-parent home according to the 2015 Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report, which is based on income and demographic data. The report reveals that custodial parents who were due child support received an average of $3,447 in 2015, but the parents who needed this money the most were the ones least likely to receive it. Just 39 percent of the 1.6 million parents living below the poverty line received full child support payments in 2015, according to the Census Bureau figures.

The figures also show that the number of deadbeat noncustodial parents is rising as child support awards are falling. The aggregate dollar value of child support payable in 2015 was $33.7 billion. This figure has fallen by $14 billion since 2003.

Noncustodial parents who fail to meet their child support obligations can face severe penalties, but tracking them down and holding them accountable is often difficult for custodial parents who are struggling to cope financially. Experienced family law attorneys may use skip tracing methods to locate deadbeat parents who are working off the books or under an assumed name, or legal professionals might consult the Federal Parent Locator Service, which is updated regularly by the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 44 Percent of Custodial Parents Receive the Full Amount of Child Support, Jan. 30, 2018

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