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National statistics for child support

Some commentators like to promote the misconception that single parents in North Carolina and the rest of the United States receive an inordinate amount of child support. According to the Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report released by the Census Bureau, however, the opposite may actually be true.

The report is released every couple of years, with the most recent report being released in January 2016. The data contained in the report is intended to provide an accurate look at the number of single parents who have an order of child support in place, how much support is supposed to be paid and how much is actually paid.

The data from the January 2016 report shows that 13.4 million single parents with child custody reside in the United States. Almost half of them, at 48.7 percent, have either an informal or legal child support arrangement in place. The child support agreements that are formal account for 89.8 percent of the agreements and were arranged by a Title IV-D agency or established in court. The other 10.2 percent of the agreements are informal agreements that were arranged between the parents.

In 2013, the amount of child support that was due totaled $32.9 billion. Noncustodial parents had to pay an average of $5,774 of child support each year, which amounted to less than $500 a month. However, the custodial parents only received 68.5 percent of that money, or an average of $3,950 each year.

An attorney who practices family law may advise clients about their legal options regarding the resolution of child support disputes. Litigation may be used to obtain the desired settlement terms for clients regarding child custody, spousal support, property division, parental rights, post-divorce modifications and other family law issues.