New Report Finds Mothers More Likely To Skip Child Support Payments

A recent piece by NPR notes that 32 percent of fathers fail to receive child support payments from delinquent mothers, while only 25 percent of mothers are awaiting late payments from fathers.

On behalf of Joel Anders at Joel W. Anders, P.C.

A recent piece by NPR notes that 32 percent of fathers fail to receive child support payments from delinquent mothers, while only 25 percent of mothers are awaiting late payments from fathers.

According to a recent report by National Public Radio (NPR) a larger group of men report not receiving child support payments from noncustodial mothers than the reverse. More specifically, 32 percent of custodial fathers are not receiving child support payments from the children's mothers while 25 percent of custodial mothers are not receiving the payments from the children's fathers.

Although concrete answers to this disparity are not provided, the report suggests that mothers who fail to receive custody of their children are likely in difficult situations. In fact, the article also notes that the data they reviewed had mothers outnumbering fathers for custody awards at a rate of five to one. Perhaps, according to the piece, these mothers that fall behind in payments are having difficulties finding work or are struggling with an addiction problem. In these instances, the mother may not be able to make the court awarded child support payment to the father.

Regardless of the reason behind the disparity, the report draws attention to two key issues: mothers continue to outnumber fathers as custodial parents and the long reaching impact of the court's decision in a divorce and child custody case.

Child custody and the numbers: Statistics

According to the most recent information from the United States Census Bureau, 14.4 million parents lived with 23.4 million children under the age of 21 while the other parent lived in another location. Of this group, fathers composed only 18.3 percent.

In most cases, child custody awards are supposed to be gender neutral, focusing only on the best interest of the child.

Child support and state law: Washington D.C.

When it comes to determining child support, Washington D.C. uses guidelines set by law to help determine the allocation of payments. In this determination, both father and mother are viewed as equally responsible for the financial support of the child. The award will take into consideration the amount of time the child spends with each parent as well as the standard of living in each parent's household with a focus on ensuring that the child or children does not live in a household that is at a substantially lower standard of living than the noncustodial parent.

The district also uses a Child Support Order Formula that uses a percentage of the noncustodial parent's gross income compared to the number and age of children needing support to come up with a basic award determination. This determination can be adjusted to reflect extraordinary needs.

This formula can be illustrated with an example. In this illustration, parents Bob and Anne are separating and have one five year old child, Timothy. Anne is a stay at home mom raising Timothy and Bob receives a gross income of $55,000. Anne receives primary custody of Timothy and the court is asked to determine the child support award. In this example, a child support order of 23 percent of the gross income, or $12,650, would likely be awarded.

Child custody and support: An attorney can help.

It is important to note that this basic formula is a guideline. The judge can deviate from the formula in certain circumstances. It is also wise to be aware of the fact that various factors are taken into consideration when a parent, mother or father, is awarded custody. As a result, mothers or fathers who are seeking a child custody or a support award are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced child support attorney. This legal professional will advocate for your rights, gathering evidence to help better ensure a more favorable outcome.

Keywords: child support,Child custody,child custody and support