Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Are families receiving as much child support as they need?

Many New York parents are sure to understand just how expensive it can be to raise a child in a state that has one of the highest costs of living in the country. Divorced parents often have different income levels, and child support is meant to remedy this sort of inequity to further the best interests of the child. However, the system necessarily depends on custodial parents actually receiving the assistance that they are owed.

Data presented by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that just under half of custodial families actually have agreements in place for an absentee parent to provide regular child support. While these statistics have gradually increased since the 1990s, there are nevertheless substantial holes to fill; only 45.6 percent of custodial families actually received the child support payments that they were entitled to in 2013.

While most custodial families don't necessarily rely on child support for their livelihood, it plays a significant role in meeting daily expenses. As one might expect, lower-income families inevitably rely on consistent child support to a greater extent than those who have higher incomes.

According to the Department of Agriculture, it can cost as much as $250,000 to raise a child to adulthood in today's economy. Since divorce courts generally rely on specific formulas to derive the precise amount of child support that one parent will owe to another, it is important to make sure this calculation is made as accurately as possible. In these cases, a family law attorney can help assemble the documentation and other evidence that will be necessary for making an accurate claim to receive child support.

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