A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau shows national and state-level data, including Texas, on what parents are paying to support their children. The average amount paid, who paid, whether an agreement was present and how many children payers were supporting are all pieces of information detailed in the Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation.
The 2010 survey, which is conducted to better understand the economic and social well-being of children in homes where support is apparent, found that the average payment for child support in the U.S. is $430 per month. Child support, as many know, is paid to provide financial assistance for the care of a child. An average of $430 per month equates to more than $5,100 per year for children under the age of 21 years.
Sixty percent of payers supported only one child while 30 percent supported two. The remaining 10 percent paid child support for three or more children. Supporting a number of children is obviously more expensive than supporting just one, though it often depends on the amount of income that the payer is making.
The study found that 85 percent of those individuals paying child support were male with the remaining 15 percent of female payers paying a lower annual support average of about $3,500, or a little less than $300 per month.
Texas-specific data showed that the state collected more child support than any other. Texas even managed to beat California, the state with the highest population. Though the state collected the most, experts believe that Texas should work on its overdue collections of support. According to the study, amounts owed are growing faster in Texas than in many other states. Delinquent cases are growing at a rapid rate as well. Thus it appears many parents in Texas might benefit from consulting with a family law attorney for assistance in the enforcement of child support orders.
Texas, like other states, can tap into a payer's income if he or she fails to pay support. Income tax refunds can also be accessed. Currently, parents in the state owe $13.3 billion in current and past due child support.
Source: Connect Amarillo, "Child support national average, Texas lags," Brandon Carpenter, June 20, 2012