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Child support numbers

Some political commentators allege that single parents in Wisconsin and the rest of the country are receiving excessive amounts of child support. However, according to the figures provided in the Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report, this is not the case.

The United States Census Bureau releases the report every few years with the most recent being issued in January 2016. The report uses the latest figures from the Census Bureau to provide an accurate glimpse of the number of single parents who have an existing informal or formal child support order, the amount of child support that is owed and how much is actually received.

Based on information from the January 2016 report, 13.4 million custodial single parents reside in the United States, 48.7 percent of whom have an informal or legal child support arrangement in place. The percentage of child support arrangements that are formal is 89.8 percent, and these agreements were developed via a Title IV-D agency or through the court system. The remaining 10.2 percent are informal child support agreements and were arranged between the parents.

The total amount of child support owed in 2013 was $32.9 billion. The yearly average amount of support that was owed was $5,774, which translates to less than $500 each month. However, just 68.5 percent of the child support owed, or $3,950 per year, was actually paid. This means that custodial single parents received an average of $329 a month to pay for clothing, food, shelter, medical care and education for their children.

An attorney who practices family law may advise clients about which legal avenues should be pursued to obtain favorable settlement terms regarding child support and other family law issues. Litigation may be used to address disputes regarding post-degree modification, divorce, property division and alimony.

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