As divorce grows more and more common in Florida and other states, more parents are being ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. A study by the Department of Agriculture found that the costs of raising a child to adulthood in the United States amount to nearly $250,000.
In 2014, nearly one-fourth of children lived with only one parent, and just over 80 percent of these parents were mothers. The data comes from a report from the 2014 Current Population Survey. Only about half of these custodial parents received child support through either a court order or other financial arrangements with the other parent.
Non-payment of child support is a very common problem, but statistics show that more parents are making payments on time. In 2013, 45.6 percent of families received child support payments on time, while in 1993, only 36.9 percent received payments when they were due.
In 2013, the average child support amount was about $330 per month. This ranges from 7.7 percent of income to 17.7 percent of income for families who received all child support payments on time in 2013.
Non-payment of child support can result in criminal and civil penalties in all states. Parents who don't pay can face fines, jail or prison time and driver's license suspension. In most cases, a parent who has been ordered to pay child support will be expected to pay even if they are incarcerated for any crime.
A person who finds that they can no longer pay due to changed circumstances may wish to petition the court for a child support modification. If a person experiences job loss or can no longer work due a disability, a judge may agree to lower the payment amount. It is important to note that child support will usually not be modified retroactively.