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Understanding more about child support payments

When Pennsylvania parents split up, child support can be a key issue. These funds can be critical for providing for a child's needs, including educational, medical and personal expenses. Many people across the country have little understanding of child support statistics. However, it can be very important for people going through the process to learn more about what they may expect.

The U.S. Census Bureau tracks statistics about child support in the United States, including how many parents have a support order in place and how much is owed and actually paid under this system. As of the Census Bureau's 2016 report, there are 13.4 million single parents across the country who have custody of their children. However, less than half of those parents actually have a legal or even an informal support agreement; only 48.7 percent have a child support order or agreement. Of the parents who have established support, 89.8 of those agreements were made through the court or a relevant state agency while 10.2 are through informal arrangements.

Most parents do not request government involvement with their child support collection. In fact, only 22.4 percent of custodial parents request action in order to collect unpaid support. This means a significant amount of support goes unpaid, and many custodial parents receive partial payments. The typical child support order is for less than $500 monthly. On average, however, parents receiving support actually get $329 each month.

Given the expenses associated with raising a kid, support payments can be critical in protecting a child's ability to access important educational, personal or athletic opportunities. A family law attorney can help a single parent to secure a child support order that offers the necessary financial assistance.

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