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Many Atlanta parents do not receive full child support

In 2009, approximately $35 billion being owed in child support in the United States. Unfortunately, only about 60 percent of that amount was actually received by custodial parents. According to a new report from the United States Census Bureau, less than half of all custodial parents in Georgia and throughout the U.S. receive the full amount of child support owed to them by the noncustodial parents of their children.

Specifically, researchers found that just 41.2 percent of custodial parents received the full child support that the noncustodial parent was obligated to pay. This is a significant decrease from just two years earlier, when 46.8 percent of custodial parents received the full child support amounts owed to them by the noncustodial parents.

With the decrease in the number of parents receiving sufficient child support has come an increase in custodial parents, 82 percent of whom are women, below the poverty level. In 2009, 28.3 percent of all custodial parents had incomes below the poverty line, which was a significant increase from 2001, when 23.4 percent of custodial parents were below the poverty level.

The reason for the failure to pay child support is not because of a lack of court orders and agreements to do so, the report states. In 2009, half of all custodial parents had an agreement to receive financial support from their child’s other parent. More than 90 percent of these agreements were in the form of court orders or settlements, and the remaining 10 percent were informal agreements or understandings. It is unclear why family courts and county child support offices are not holding parents accountable for their court-ordered child support payments.

Source: The MainStreet, “Parents Finding It Harder To Get Full Child Support Payments,” Kristin Colella, Dec. 7, 2011