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Billions in child support goes unpaid each year

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When a couple with children goes through a divorce, many issues can be hotly contested. Amongst these, child support can become a center piece. Coming to an agreement can be difficult, especially when the couple does not get along. Thus, quite often a child support issue must be resolved in court in front of a judge who will most likely use the Arizona child support guidelines as a starting point.

Yet, a Census Bureau report shows more than $14 Billion in child support payments were not received in 2011. That figure means only 62.3 percent of the $37.9 billion owed to custodial parents was actually received. The study also found those who had a college education and were 40 years of age and older were more likely to receive full child support payments. However, all parents who are owed child support should receive such payments, and greater efforts should be made to collect on delinquent payments.

These child support payments are extremely important. Though some may view child support as another way for a custodial parent to receive money for his or her own uses, the money is intended, and is required, to be used to help cover the costs of raising a child. This may mean buying food, clothing and school supplies. By failing to pay child support, a parent denies his or her child these necessities or strips the wages of the custodial parent who is forced to pay more than his or her fair share.

An Arizona family law attorney can attempt to help a divorcing couple come to an agreement as to a child support amount before the issue goes to court. This may help ensure the paying party is capable of making the payments and the agreement is fair for all involved. If such an agreement cannot be reached, then the attorney can argue for a suitable amount in front of a judge, who will seek to hold the paying party to his obligation.

On the other side of the coin, an attorney can also help an owing party who may be unable to make his or her child support payments. Sudden illness, unemployment, or other financial trouble can render these payments impossible to make in full. Instead of foregoing payment, leaving a child without much needed support, and risking being arrested, an individual can seek child support modification. An attorney may be able to help in this process, allowing the owing party to continue to contribute to the raising of his or her child.

Source: The Sierra Sun Times, "Census Bureau Report Shows More than $14 Billion in Payments to Custodial Parents Not Received," Nov. 21, 2013

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