Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Gender breakdown of the failure to pay child support

New York parents may be interested in learning about how common it is for non-custodial mothers to miss child support payments. Some studies show that this problem is more common that most people might think, though the overall effect of it on custodial fathers is debatable.

While many typically think of custodial parents as being mothers, statistics show that around 18 percent of custodial parents are fathers. Of these custodial fathers, data from 2011 reveals that nearly one-third of those fathers failed to receive any of the child support that the mother had been ordered to pay. This is compared to the one-quarter of custodial mothers in the same situation. Those who do receive some child support payments average about 40 percent of what they are entitled to receive to pay for their child's everyday expenses.

While the data from 2011 shows an outstanding $1.7 billion in unpaid child support to fathers, some experts say that fathers are better prepared to handle this deficiency. For a father who isn't receiving these delinquent payments, the average household income is around $51,000. Mothers who are not receiving the child support they are due, on the other hand, average only around $26,000 annually. Fathers also have a much lower poverty rate and higher employment rate than mothers. Overall, this means that there is less of a financial struggle for custodial fathers.

Regardless of whether it is the mother or the father who is the recipient, a failure to pay child support obligations can have a serious effect on a parent's needs while raising a child. In situations like this, an attorney can assist in bringing an action against the delinquent parent in addition to exploring other methods of enforcement.

Source:, "Are Moms Less Likely Than Dads To Pay Child Support?", Mona Chalabi, Feb. 26, 2015

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