Child Support Issues Essay

This essay has a total of 792 words and 4 pages.

Child Support Issues

Child Support for Custodial Mothers and Fathers
Two parent custodial families are not a common aspect of American culture any longer. Many
families have custodial parents who have divorced and left children in single parent
homes. The facts presented here are intended to show that statistics do not always present
the facts accurately. The U.S. Census Bureau says, “In 1998, an estimated 14 million
parents had custody of 22.9 million children less than 21 years of age whose other parent
lived elsewhere. Custodial mothers represented 85.1 percent of all custodial parents while
the remaining 14.9 percent were fathers. This has statistically been unchanged since 1994.
About 25.8 percent of all children less than 21 living in families had a parent not living
in the home ”.

The statistics for child support among custodial mothers show that many custodial mothers
do not receive child support due to various reasons. The United States Census Bureau
completed a report on the poverty level of custodial mothers in the time period between
1993 and 1997, reporting the results every two years of that period. In 1993, the poverty
rate for custodial mothers was 36.8 percent below the national poverty rate average. In
1995 and 1997, the poverty rates for the same group of mothers was 33.3 percent and 32.1
percent, respectively. I state these facts to prove the point that, even though legal
agreements were made to provide support for these parents, the custodial mothers do not
receive adequate financial compensation to sustain the minor child in day-to-day
activities. However, the same Census Bureau reported in 1997, that the income was higher
and the poverty levels lower for those custodial mothers and fathers who received all of
the total amount of child support due them in that calendar year. The poverty rate
experienced a dramatic drop from 32.1 percent of the same year to 15.2 percent for those
receiving full support payments. The facts show that custodial mothers need the payments
in order to provide an environment in which the minor child would not have to be raised in
poverty and neglecting necessary things required for living.

Of the 14 million custodial parents in 1998, 7.9 million had some type of support
agreement or award for compensation for their children. The remaining 6.1 million parents
had no child support agreements or the agreements were pending.

Various reasons were attributed to the fact of 44.6 percent of all custodial parents not
having made legal or informal agreements. Majority of the reason was due to the parents
feeling that there was no need for a legal agreement. The other reasons rounded out to be
that the other parent could not afford to pay, or the other parent provided what they
could.

When we view the government data that 6.2 million single custodial mothers do not receive
child support, we cringe in disbelief, and wonder how custodial fathers can be so uncaring
to their children. However, examining the data closer reveals a much different aspect of
why things are the way they are. When the reasons for custodial mothers not receiving
child support, or not even having a child support order to begin with, are examined, it
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