It is commonly held that men are responsible for more delinquent child support payments than men. In New Jersey and across the country, the term “deadbeat dad” is often thrown around to describe a man who shirks his responsibility. However, a recent report from NPR demonstrates that women actually fail to pay child support at a higher rate than men do.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, custodial mothers outnumber custodial fathers at a ratio of 5 to 1. Further, 25 percent of custodial mothers did not receive the child support they were owed in 2011. By contrast, 32 percent of custodial fathers did not receive those payments. While the numbers may show that there are more men ducking out on payments than women, it is important to note that woman are failing to pay support at a higher rate.
Experts suggest that this could be due to the fact that in many situations in which a father becomes a custodial parent, the mother is in a less-than-optimal situation. She may be struggling to find gainful employment or suffer from a substance abuse problem, both of which could affect her ability to make payments. Another explanation is that the average income for a custodial father’s home is $52,000, while the average income for a custodial mother is $26,000.
Diving further into the data, NPR reports that people who have never been married appear to be less likely to receive child support payments than their formerly wed peers. No matter what the reasoning is behind the delinquency, it is important for anyone who is owed support payments to consult with an attorney to enforce those obligations or make modifications.
Source: NPR, “Who fails to pay child support? Moms, at a higher rate than dads,” March 1, 2015