24 Oct Where Does Child Support Really Go?
From negotiating parenting time to figuring out child support payments, a lot goes into ensuring children of divorced parents are treated fairly. The best way to protect your child and yourself is by working with leading child custody attorneys in Hackensack, New Jersey like the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Bloom. Having legal protection on your side also ensures that child support payments actually get where they’re supposed to be going—to helping raise your children.
How is Child Support Divided
In some states and situations, low-income parents are trying to do right by their children, but the majority of their payments end up going back to the state. This is especially prevalent in California, where 250,000 families receive about $50 per month in child support. When these parents are also receiving government help in the form of EBT cards or other assistance, the actual child support they receive is reduced.
For example, a mother might be awarded $1,000 per month in child support from her ex-husband. If she also receives the equivalent of $950 per month in government assistance, only $50 of his $1,000 per month payment will go directly to helping support his child. The remaining $950 is redirected to repay the safety net programs that his ex receives. It can be frustrating for both parents and yield devastating results for the children. Plus, if a parent falls behind on their child support payments, they may be charged interest by the state. Failing to pay child support can ultimately lead to jail time.
Some studies show that 70 percent of child support debt is directed to the government in California, and this impacts low-income parents almost exclusively. This averages $370 million in child support each year paid to the government. The Urban Institute has discovered that such a debt negatively impacts parents’ relationship with their children, too. A new bill, SB337, will help increase how much child support goes to families—if it passes. However, there’s a long way to go.
Understand Your Child Support
Fortunately for those in Hackensack, New Jersey, the situation isn’t as dire as California. Still, it’s important for both parents to understand how child support payments work so that the children are best served. You can start by working with the Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Bloom and connect with the state’s top child custody attorneys to help you through this often confusing process.