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Child support and the gender of the recipient

While the most current data available from the U.S. Census taken in 2011 indicates that more mothers failed to pay child support than fathers, it still appears that women with physical custody of a child or children face more financial problems than men. In California and other states, receiving child support payments is a significant issue for custodial parents.

The data from 2011 shows that there is some difference when comparing which gender does not receive any of the court-ordered support payments they are owed, as 32 percent of fathers receive no support compared to 25.1 percent of mothers. The difference between parents who receive the full amount of support awarded is even smaller as this comprises of 43.6 percent of mothers and 41.4 percent of fathers.

Failure to pay child support often hurts custodial mothers more than fathers as these mothers are more likely to be living in poverty. Regardless of child support, 31.8 percent of mothers with physical custody were living in poverty in 2011 compared to about half as many fathers. Employment status and the number of children one has also contribute to this as single mothers were around 12 percent more likely to have two or more children and were more likely to be out of work or working part-time instead of full-time.

Courts consider the best interests of the children involved in these matters, so a father has just as much right to physical custody as a mother does. Either parent might be entitled to child support or alimony when a couple divorces, and the income of the custodial parent may influence how much this parent could receive. If the financial circumstances of either parent change, a child support modification may be necessary.

Source: fivethirtyeight.com, "Are Moms Less Likely Than Dads To Pay Child Support?", Mona Chalabi, Feb. 26, 2015

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