How Often Does Child Support Go Unpaid?

April 30, 2023 Family Law

It is shocking how often child support goes unpaid not only in Florida but also the entire United States. Many people under an order to pay child support fail to make their full payments when they are due. Because of this, many children do not receive the full amount of money needed for their upbringing. Also, many custodial parents have to pick up the slack of the non-paying parent and do their best to meet the needs of their children. 

At Martin Law Firm, P.L., we help parents and guardians with all family law matters, including issues relating to child support. 

Unpaid Child Support By The Numbers

According to a report by the United States Census Bureau, the following are some statistics regarding unpaid child support in the United States. 

  • In 2017, less than ½ of parents that were supposed to receive child support from another parent received the full amount owed.
  • In 2017, approximately 7 out of 10 parents with custody that were supposed to receive child support received some of the payments they were owed.
  • In 2017, only 62.2% of the total amount ($30 billion) of child support that was supposed to be paid was actually received by the custodial parent.
  • In 1993, 24.2% of custodial parents were supposed to receive child support but did not; in 2017, that percentage increased to 30.2%.
  • In 2017, the poverty rate for custodial parent families with children under the age of 21 was 24.1%, which was 10.5% higher than all families with children under the age of 21.

Issues Regarding the Enforcement of Unpaid Child Support

For custodial parents, not receiving the child support they are owed can mean the difference between putting food on the table and going hungry. So what obstacles can prevent the enforcement of unpaid child support?

The first thing to note is whether or not the parties have a current filed order signed by a judge that requires the non-custodial parent to pay the custodial parent child support in a certain amount by a certain date. Many custodial parents enter into just an oral agreement with the non-custodial parent or enter into a written agreement that needs to be in its proper form and signed by a judge. Without an order, enforcing child support can be difficult. In this situation, the first step a custodial parent needs to take is to enter an actual order so they can appear before a judge to request relief if that order is violated. A family law attorney can help with having this order established. 

Consult With A Florida Child Support Attorney 

If you have questions about child support, contact Martin Law Firm, P.L., and speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We are well-versed in all matters related to family law in Florida, and we can assist you with all your child support needs.