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Statistics on unpaid child support in the United States

Pennsylvania courts will usually issue a child support award in favor of the "custodial parent" to be paid by the "noncustodial parent." The custodial parent is the parent with whom the children live, and the noncustodial parent is the parent who has visitation rights. This child support payment is meant to benefit the child to ensure that he or she is well taken care of and there's enough money to go around for the custodial parent.

However, just because a court issues a child support award does not always mean that it will be paid. In fact, it's not uncommon for two parents to argue about how much child support needs to be paid by the noncustodial spouse. It's also not uncommon for noncustodial parents to fail in meeting their child support obligations.

According to U.S. census data from 2013, there were 5.7 million American custodial parents with the right to receive an average of $4,370 in unpaid child support money. This amounted to approximately $32.9 billion payments owed. Approximately 68.5 percent of these unpaid billions was received by the custodial parents, which means that the parents received approximately $3,950 on average. Furthermore, about 74.1 percent of custodial parents received their payments in full or at least partially. Under half of them, approximately 45.6 percent received their entire child support money due.

If you are a divorcing parent in Pennsylvania, regardless of your current financial situation, you might want to investigate whether you will be entitled to receive or required to pay monthly child support payments as a result of your divorce.

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