The cost of raising kids is ever-growing – beyond the basic necessities of food, clothing, and shelter. What about doctor visits and field trips and eyeglasses and band instruments and…? The list goes on. It’s a lot for two people. And for single parents who don’t receive their child support payments, its far worse.
The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement calculated $108 billion in back child support was owed to custodial parents in 2009. This is a big reason why 41% of households headed by single women are below the poverty line. Yes, there are plenty of parents who do take care of their responsibilities. Approximately 60% of money owed does get paid. In fact, it’s only 11% of the debtors that make up 54% of the debt. But it will take a collective effort to get it paid.
While the government has the power to garnish wages and intercept tax refunds, deadbeat parents have learned to work under the table and cry poverty in court. There have been countless cases of parents claiming to be unemployed before driving off in luxury cars.
If you are struggling with a parent that won’t pay what is owed, contact a family law attorney. Let them explain your options to you and share with them if you know of any money being made off the books. If more custodial parents report such acts, and if there is an increase in the number of people at agencies enforcing child support payments, experts believe it may help to chip away at the staggering outstanding balance.