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Census finds moms less likely to pay child support than dads

Massachusetts parents may be surprised that 'deadbeat moms," or those who fail to pay child support to the custodial parent, aren't that rare. The 2011 U.S. Census reports that less than 20 percent of fathers had custody of their children, with only a quarter of these dads having child support agreements in place. In comparison, 50 percent of custodial mothers had support agreements.

Statistics showed that 32 percent of custodial fathers did not receive any child support, while 25.1 percent of mothers did not get the support ordered by the court. Plus, the amount of support to fathers is less than what mothers get, possibly due to fathers having higher incomes than mothers. A father's average income is almost double that of the mother's, meaning that custodial moms are more likely to be giving in poverty.

The census also notes that, even when child support is paid, neither parent may get the full amount due from the non-custodial parent. Custodial moms are more likely to pay child support in things other than money, such as groceries and clothes for the children.

Paying child support is in the best interest of the children, as it helps the custodial parent to maintain the lifestyle the children enjoyed before their parents divorced. Unfortunately, a good percentage of non-custodial parents, be they moms or dads, do not live up to their financial obligations as ordered by the courts. When the non-custodial parent does not pay child support, the custodial parent may wish to consult a family law attorney who may be able to assist in getting the payments. An attorney also may be able to assist a non-custodial parent in getting the child support order modified.

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