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The U.S. Census Bureau announced yesterday that more than $14 billion in child support was left unpaid in a single year.
Only one out of every three child support dollars is being paid, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. While millions of parents are entitled to financial support for their kids, less than half are receiving the full amount owed; a quarter receive none. Consistent underpayment has impacted lower income households in particular.
Help is available to these parents, but the number who seek government assistance to get the money they're entitled to fell by a quarter between 1994 and 2012. Instead, many families operate outside of the child support system, with payees contributing to clothes, food and other essentials on an ad-hoc basis.
Do you pay child support? What challenges have you had in meeting your financial obligation? Have you sought help to reduce your payment but had difficulty doing so? And if you’re on the other end, how has underpayment or non-payment of child support impacted you?
Paul Nathan, Law offices of Paul Nathan (based in San Francisco); Nathan focuses on family law for women clients
Alan-Michael Graves, Director of Project Fatherhood, a nationally recognized program serving urban, low income fathers (based in Los Angeles)