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Do men or women fail to pay child support more often?

The stereotype says that mothers will be awarded child support and fathers will have to pay. That is true in the majority of cases, but the reality is that many mothers are also ordered to pay support to fathers.

So, who fails to pay more often? It depends how you define "more often."

If you're looking at the sheer amount of people who fail to pay, most of them are men. One study examined by National Public Radio found that a full 25 percent of mothers who had custody did not get any support payments from the fathers. Since there are five fathers who have to pay support for every one mother who is ordered to pay, there are almost as many fathers who don't pay anything as there are mothers who have been ordered to do so in total.

If you're looking at the percentages, though, it's actually mothers who fail to pay anything significantly more often. There are fewer mothers who carry this obligation, but the study showed that a full 32 percent of fathers did not get a cent from them.

What this study really shows is that it's dangerous to get caught up in stereotypes and assumptions. Both genders are ordered to pay and receive support. Both fail to do it.

Who does it more is a matter of perspective, but the key is for those on both sides to fully understand all of their legal rights. Those who are unable to pay may want to learn about legal child support order modifications, while those who aren't getting what they deserve may be more interested in enforcement options.

Source: NPR, "Who Fails To Pay Child Support? Moms, At A Higher Rate Than Dads," accessed Sep. 08, 2017

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