Over the past two decades, it has become more common for children to be born to parents who are not married. The rate of children being born to unmarried parents was around 33 percent as of 2000. However, that figure has since risen to 40 percent, where it has consistently remained. Children born to single parents are three times as likely to be poor as those who are raised in a two-parent household.
Unsurprisingly, children with greater access to resources tend to be better off. Kids who have limited resources are more likely to have behavioral problems and less likely to excel in school. One way to help reduce these issues is for the non-custodial parent to stay current on support payments.
The federal Child Support Enforcement Program was set up in order to help make sure that children receive economic support from both parents. Initially, the program was able to increase the share of parents who provided for their children. Despite its effectiveness, there has since been a decrease in the number of parents entering the program.
Child support can be obtained whether someone goes through a divorce or if they were never married to the child's other parent. If someone is not getting the support they are owed or not getting it in a timely manner, there are legal actions that they can take. For example, courts may order wage garnishments for parents who do not make timely support payments. A lawyer could help someone seek the child support that they are owed through the court system.