Child support offers a way for many New Jersey single parents to make ends meet. While this financial assistance can be an important part of setting up a formal custody and childcare agreement after a separation, many people are unaware of some of the facts about how child support is handled in the United States. Many people believe that child support is often costly and can enable a custodial parent to benefit excessively. In most cases, however, child support is both necessary and often insufficient to cover the costs of raising kids today.
The U.S. Census Bureau tracks child support statistics across the country, including the number of single parents with existing support orders, the amount of child support owed and the amount that is received each year. Across the country, there are approximately 13.4 million single parents with custody. However, only slightly less than half of those parents, 48.7 percent, have a child support agreement in place, even an informal situation. In fact, the vast majority of parents who receive child support have obtained a formal order from the court or a state agency. Only 10.2 percent of all child support agreements are informal contracts between the parents.
Once the order is made, however, most parents do not seek government support in receiving their child support. Only 22.4 percent of single parents pursued government assistance to collect unpaid support amounts. The average child support order across the country is for approximately $500 per month.
A divorcing spouse who wants to protect their child can strongly benefit from seeking a child support and custody agreement through the courts. A family law attorney can help a parent pursue the options that can best support their children as they grow.