Last month, the U.S. Census Bureau issued a report on child support payments. It found that only 62.7 percent of child support payments that are owed to custodial parents are actually paid. This means that there is a $14 billion dollar shortfall. We work with many of our Oklahoma clients who may have not have received the child support they are owed, and file motions for enforcement orders when necessary to obtain those missing payments.
The Census Bureau notes in its report that when the noncustodial parent is involved with the child, there is a greater likelihood that they will properly support their child and make their child support payments.
The report’s author, Timothy Grall, stated, “The more contact a child has with the noncustodial parent, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of the full financial support they are due.” This makes sense, as a parent who spends time with their child will better understand the need to provide them with financial support.
If you have a child support obligation that you are having difficulty making, you should speak with an attorney as soon as you realize you may not be able to make a payment.
Once ordered, child support obligations are virtually impossible to avoid, and you cannot discharge them in a bankruptcy. In addition, your financial resources can be seized or garnished for child support and you can lose professional, hunting and fishing licenses.
The Census Bureau also found that parents with higher education levels, being divorced and older (Age 40 and above) also contributed to a higher likelihood of custodial parents receiving their child support payments.
Because child support payments typically are paid monthly, a few months of delinquent payments can lead to large arrearages. This is why it is important to address the issue as soon as it develops.