The latest report was issued in January 2016. Compiled by the agency every few years, the report uses the latest statistics from the Census Bureau to provide an accurate picture of the number of single parents with an established child support order, how much support is owed and how much is actually paid.
According to the report, 13.4 million custodial single parents reside in the United States, and almost half of them have either an informal or a legal child support arrangement in place. Formal agreements, which are developed via a Title IV-D agency or through the court system, make up 89.8 percent of the child support agreements. The remaining 10.2 percent are informal arrangements that were developed between the parents.
Figures from the report show that $32.9 billion in child support was due during 2013. The average amount owed per year was $5,774, or less than $500 a month. The amount of money that was actually received was just an average of $3,950 per year, or 68.5 percent of what was actually owed. This means that custodial single parents who were owed child support received only about $329 per month to apply to expenses related to shelter, clothing, food, education and medical care.
A family law attorney may litigate to obtain modifications in an existing child support order to meet the increasing financial needs of a child. The attorney may also petition the court to begin collection procedures for delinquent child support.