Single parents deserve child support

Many single parents living in Minnesota struggle with making ends meet. Some do not receive child support from their children's other parent, making it even more difficult.

The percentage of children who are living with single parents has gone up. Forty percent of children are born to parents who are not married, a number that has increased since 2000. Children of unmarried parents are three times more likely to be poor. Unmarried parents only have their own income and may not have as much earnings potential because of having lower levels of education.

Many absent parents do pay child support, but others do not. Child support is meant to help children to grow up with the standard of living that they might have enjoyed if their parents had remained together. Some absent parents are also poor and have trouble making child support payments. A study showed that in 2014, only 49 percent of custodial parents who were eligible had child support agreements on file. Parents who are raising children alone without child support should not let the absent parents avoid paying.

Both of a child's parents are expected to contribute to the child's upbringing. When a parent is not paying child support, the child's custodial parent might want to file a motion for child support to be ordered. Courts consider the best interests of the child when they make child support and custody orders. If an order is in place and a parent is delinquent in his or her payments, an attorney might help by filing a motion with the court. A judge may hold a person who fails to pay child support in contempt, garnish his or her wages or impose other penalties in order to secure the payment of what is owed.

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