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Child support statistics combat stereotypes

For men and women alike, the prospect of divorce is often accompanied by serious concerns over how the process may affect one’s children. Not long ago Illinois families and family law courts reinforced the conventional arrangement of granting primary custody to mothers, thus requiring fathers to pay child support. Shifts in American culture, as well as updated family law guidelines, have resulted in a much more objective child support formula that many argue regards mothers and fathers as equals under the law.

Some of the factors that go into determining child support include identifying the parent that provided the majority of financial support during the marriage, as well as the one that spent the most one-on-one time with the children. While some would argue that child support and custody arrangements once reflected gender biases, recent statistical figures suggest that parents and family law courts alike are basing such decisions on practical and financial considerations.

According to the Pew Research Center, around 25 percent of American households were run by single mothers in 2013. Similarly, mothers were the primary source of income in a little less than 45 percent of households. It’s understandable, then, that the old assumption of the mother requiring financial support to raise the children after divorce is losing footing. In fact, it is now estimated that almost one third of single dads with full or primary custody received child support in 2011.

That same year it was also estimated that full or primary custody was maintained by fathers in a little more than 16 percent of cases. Interestingly, statistics also reflect the gender-neutral issue of unpaid child support. Given that every family is unique, it is always recommended that individuals seek the advice of a trusted Belleville, Illinois, family law attorney to discuss their child support options.

Source:, “More women paying child support, spousal support,” Myra Fleischer, May 27, 2014

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Johnson, Johnson, & NolanAttorneys At Law

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