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Deadbeat Mom?

When non-custodial fathers are ordered by the court to pay child support and continuously fail to do so, it is not uncommon for such non-custodial parents to be referred to as "deadbeat dads." Although the term "deadbeat dad" is widely recognized as referring to a parent who shirks his child support obligation, this term has incorrectly limited the stigma associated with non-payment of child support to fathers. In fact, in Georgia and throughout the United States, there are several non-custodial mothers who have been ordered by a court to pay child support, but fail to do so.

According to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and included in a report issued in 2013 entitled: Custodial Mothers and Father and Their Child Support: 2011, custodial fathers are actually less likely to receive full or even partial payments of child support awarded to them for the benefit of the minor children in their custody than custodial mothers. The data included in this report reveals that in 2011 there were approximately 2,643,000 custodial fathers in the U.S. Of those custodial fathers, 760,000 were awarded child support from the non-custodial mother. Of the fathers that were awarded child support, 459,000 (or 68.1%) received some or all of the child support owed to them from the non-custodial mother. Only 279,000 (or 41.4%) received full payment. What this means practically is that of the fathers owed child support in the U.S., around 31.9% are not receiving any payments at all.

Conversely, according to this same census report, of the 6,297,000 custodial mothers entitled to receive child support in 2011, 4,182,000 (74.8%) are receiving some payments and 2,438,000 (43.6%) are receiving full payment. Thus, 26.2% of custodial mothers are not receiving any of the payments they are entitled to. What this evidence shows is that statistically, custodial fathers are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to realizing court ordered child support payments. Thus, although the term "dead beat mom" is not as universally recognized as that of "deadbeat dad", maybe it should be.


Child Support
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