It is commonly held that men shirk their responsibility to pay their child support payments more often than women. However, data reveals that women in Illinois and across the country may actually be delinquent more often than men are.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 14,400 custodial parents in 2011, the most recent year for which data is available. Of those, 11,797 were women and only 2,643 were men. The numbers do show that far more women than men receive child support and are owed child support payments.
However, when comparing the number of parents owed money to the total number of parents for each sex, it becomes clear that men are receiving payments at a lower rate than women. The data shows that 32 percent of fathers hadn’t received the money owed to them, while only 25 percent of custodial mothers were owed payments.
A recent report from NPR suggests several reasons that explain this failure to pay child support, such as the following:
- Custodial mothers are twice as likely to live in poverty.
- The average income for a custodial mother is $26,000, compared to $52,000 for the average custodial father.
- Fathers are often awarded custody when a mother is in a particularly difficult situation, such as searching for employment.
The report from NPR also notes that people who have been married and then divorced are more likely to receive payments than those who never were. Regardless of someone’s marital status, income or other situation, it is important for custodial parents to get the money they need to raise a child.