The Many Factors in Child Support Collection

Many parents in Florida struggle to receive the child support payments they are due. Research on the reasons parents may not pay child support, and how demographics affect child support payments, turns up some interesting finds and trends. For many parents, getting an award of child support is only half the story. They then enter a seemingly endless process of trying to actually get the funds they are due, and many parents end up never getting paid at all.

Many factors, including socioeconomic status, marital status, race and gender, play a part in the rather complex story of child support delinquencies. One surprising fact is that mothers are slightly more likely to not pay child support to custodial fathers than the converse. There are many reasons for this. One is that custodial fathers tend to be more financially secure than their female counterparts. The average income for a custodial father is nearly twice that of a custodial mother. This may make non-custodial mothers less than forthcoming about child support.

Despite the situation, child support is considered a parent's legal obligation. When a parent cannot provide for a child's care directly, they are expected to do so financially through child support. While finances are a very strong factor when it comes to determining child support amounts, a custodial parent with a higher income than a non-custodial parent does not necessarily preclude a child support award.

There are many ways to instead create an agreement that fulfills the child support obligation without payment. Joint custody is one of the most common ways. If custody is relatively equal between parents, it may eliminate the need for child support. Providing non-cash assistance, such as groceries or transportation, may also lower or eliminate support. An attorney may be able to assist a client in exploring options to fulfill child support obligations and prevent the serious legal consequences of not providing enough assistance.

Source: fivethirtyeight.com, "Are Moms Less Likely Than Dads To Pay Child Support?", Mona Chalabi, Feb. 26, 2015

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