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Child support by the numbers

All 50 states have some law on the books that requires child support payments by the non-custodial parent. Child support is the payment of money from the noncustodial to the custodial parent. The custodial parent is the parent who cares for the children the majority of the time. The more parents share parenting time; the less maintenance paid. It is designed to ensure that the non-custodial parent does not escape their parental duties.

In 2001, 6.9 million parents were entitled to receive child support. They were owed an average of $5,000 which is about $34.9 billion in payments. But, of this amount, only $21.9 billion or 62.6 percent was received. Child support payments being short is unfortunately a common issue.

In fact, only 44.8 percent of parents received all of the support they were due. Similarly, the average amount received was only $4,300 despite the $5,000 national average. These reduced payments also reflected in families seeking public assistance. About 36.5 percent of custodial parents contacted a state department for assistance.

Obtaining child support is relatively complicated. It is based on some factors including lifestyle, expenses, incomes, medical costs, and other factors. If you are involved in a dispute over child support, then you may want to contact a lawyer at your earliest convenience. The legal vagaries involving child support are complicated and numerous. The last thing you need is to obtain a reduced child support award because you overlooked a particular factor or piece of evidence. An attorney can ensure that you present your strongest arguments.

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