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Child Support Statistics

Child Support by the Numbers

  • 84% of child support providers are men
  • 60% of child supporters provide for one child, 30% support two, and 10% support three or more children
  • Almost 50% of the people who make child support payments are younger than 40
  • Men pay a medium of $3,600 annually to support their children, while women pay a medium of $2,400 each year.
  • The median income of a provider of child support is $42,000
  • 76% of the child support payments are due to court order or child support agreement.
  • 38% of child support providers are responsible for health insurance, medical bills, and other assorted health care costs.
  • 17% of child support agreements make no provision for health care of children.
  • The most common ways of collecting child support are:
    • Wage withholding: 33.8%
    • Direct payment to parent: 31.7%
    • Direct payment to child support agency: 14.38%
    • Direct payment to the court: 17.7%
    • Other methods: 2.4%

Child Support Payments

Child Support payments are more likely when custody and visitation agreements in place according to Findlaw. Mediation has become the most popular way for parents to agree on shared parenting. Although all CA courts offer low cost mediation, the mediation is limited to parenting plans only. No child support, spousal support or property settlements may be determined through court mediation.

  • A large majority (85.3 percent) of the 6.9 million custodial parents due child support payments in 2001 in the U.S. had arrangements for joint child custody or visitation privileges with the non-custodial parents, and approximately three-fourths (77.1 percent) of these parents received some support payments.
  • Of the custodial parents due child support but who did not have joint custody or visitation arrangements, about half (55.8 percent) received payments. About 63.0 percent of custodial mothers and 38.6 percent of fathers had child support agreed or awarded to them.
  • Among these parents who were due support in 2001, 73.9 percent received at least some payments directly from the non-custodial parent.
  • About 58.9 percent of the 7.9 million child support agreements in 2001 had provisions for health insurance for the children.

Fathers with children who do not live with them were asked in the 2002 census if they contribute financially to their children. 76% of Fathers with at least one child under 19 contribute child support for their children; 9% of Fathers contribute "once in a while" and 15% do not contribute at all.

The Fathers were asked to provide the amount of child support they have been paying in the last twelve months. The median amount is $4250 per year or $354 per month. Almost 18% of Fathers pay more than $9000 per year or $750 per month. 24% of Fathers say they contribute between $5000 and $9000 per year; 36% of fathers said they contribute $3000 or less and 23% say they contribute between $3000 and $5000 per year.

These numbers are national averages in the U.S.

Source: Series 23, No. 26, Table 77 & 78

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