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Data indicates mothers less likely to pay child support than dads

Posted on behalf of Thomas Pettinicchi of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Mar 09, 2015 in Child Support

The process of establishing child custody and child support can be hard for those involved to get through. While custodial parents may feel relieved once everything is worked through, issues may still arise. Specifically, the noncustodial parent may fail to pay the amount owed. This could cause serious problems financially for that parent as he or she tries to provide for the children. 

The phrase “dead beat dad" is one that is often heard in conjunction with the failure to pay child support. The reality however is that it is not only dads who are shirking this responsibility. Mothers do it as well. In fact, according to one data expert, mothers actually fail to pay child support at a higher rate than fathers. Readers may be surprised to hear this.

In reaching this conclusion the data expert used information from the Census Bureau in 2011. In that year, 25 percent of custodial mothers did not receive the child support they were owed. In contrast, 32 percent of custodial fathers were in the same boat. The Census Bureau defines custodial parents as those who take “care of their kids while the other parent lives someplace else".

Information provided by the Census Bureau did not indicate why this is true.

Regardless of the gender of the parent who is not making the child support payments as required, custodial parents should be aware that legal options are available. An enforcement action may be brought against the parent who is not keeping up his or her end of the bargain. To determine whether this approach makes sense, it is a good idea to consult a family law attorney.