Generally, child support is the financial obligation that covers a child's everyday expenses, healthcare and other needs, making child support a very serious matter for many California families. Whether an individual is paying or receiving this monthly support, it affects families and children in so many ways. Unfortunately, those effects can bring challenges.
According to government data, child support plays a significant role in the number of families who are poverty stricken. The statistics compiled from 2010 to 2012 showed almost one in four children are the recipient of child support from a parent. However, only 62 percent of actual monies owed reach the recipients. In California, more than 60 percent was collected while more than 15 percent of families receiving child support were below poverty level. The study suggested that poorer states have low child support collections, which, in turn push many families into poverty.
Reportedly, the U.S. child support system has a huge influence on the effects of unpaid child support causing poverty. It highlighted that poor families are least likely to get needed child support. More than one quarter of families receiving child support are living below the poverty line and only 40 percent obtain full payment. These families rely on child support as their sole source of income. Although some families turn to welfare due to lack of child support income, they do not experience any significant changes in their living situation.
Studies that tackle child support and non-payment pointed out the significance to the life of a child who experiences either payment or non-payment. While the child support system may need some changes, financially and emotionally, support of a child is the responsibility of both parents.
Source: The Washington Post, "How our child support system can push the poor deeper into poverty," Jeff Guo, Sept. 26, 2014