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Divorce process agreement should make child support terms binding

The expenses that come along with child-rearing can be substantial. However, many California couples may have felt confident in their abilities to afford children on both of their incomes before actually having kids. Unfortunately, that feeling may have changed when the marriage was no longer working, and parents ended up facing the divorce process. One of their main concerns may have been child support.

Though child support is often needed after one parent obtains primary custody of the children, it is not always easy to come by. A divorce settlement may dictate which parent has the responsibility of making support payments and for how much, but that parent may not always adhere to these terms. In fact, information released from the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that in 2015, three out of 10 custodial parents did not obtain any child support.

The report also indicated that only 43.5 percent of custodial parents received the entire amount of child support they were supposed to have received in 2015. As a result, more than half of custodial parents either did not obtain their full support or any support at all. This issue can prove particularly difficult on parents who live below the poverty level, and approximately 1.6 million custodial parents do.

If California parents are having difficulties making ends meet and providing for their children due to a lack of child support, they may wish to determine what legal actions they can take. During the divorce process, it should have been made clear what each party's financial obligations were, and as a result, individuals may have options for ensuring the enforcement of their agreements. Consulting with experienced attorneys could help concerned parties determine how to move forward.

Source: bloomberg.com, "Less Than Half of U.S. Parents With Child Custody Get Funds", Vincent Del Giudice, Jan. 30, 2018

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