Child support agreements and custodial parents

On behalf of Janet Boyle of BOYLE FEINBERG, P.C. posted in Child Support on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

Parents facing divorce in Illinois should be aware of the issue of child support. Raising children can be expensive. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion states it can cost up to $250,000 to birth and raise a child to adulthood in the United States. With such a high figure, it is easy to understand why child support is such an important source of income for many custodial parents. According to census data, in 2014 approximately one-quarter of children living in families lived with only one parent, and about five in six of these parents were mothers.

Only about half of these custodial-parent families received child support, and of the 5.7 million custodial parent families that were owed child support in 2013, less than half received the full amount that had been due. In 1993, a little over one-third received every payment. The average amount received in 2013 amounted to roughly $3,950, or approximately $330 per month. This was far less than the monthly average amount due, which was $480.

Child support is important to custodial-parent families. In 2013, it ranged from 7.7 percent of personal income for those parents who were not paid all of the amounts that they were supposed to receive to 17.7 percent of the income of those parents who received the full amount. Child support represented 70.3 percent of the average personal income of custodial parents living below the poverty line and who were paid in full. Child support disputes can be very difficult for all who are involved. A family law attorney can often be of assistance to a custodial parent who has not received timely and complete payments in seeking an enforcement of the order.