Many Ohio parents are raising their children alone. While a majority of absent parents do pay support for their children, a sizable minority do not. The problem is prevalent both in the state as well as in the rest of the country, and it has worsened over time.
Today, 40 percent of children are born to parents who are not married. By contrast, a third of children who were born in 2000 were born to unmarried parents. Parents who are single are less likely to have good incomes, and their children are three times as likely to be poor than are their peers.
The federal Child Support Enforcement Program has been in existence for nearly 40 years, and it was strengthened in 1996. Despite the fact that the program has become stronger, fewer people are actually taking advantage of it. In 2014, only 49 percent of eligible parents had child support agreements in place through their states’ child support enforcement offices. In 2004, the percentage of participating eligible parents was 60 percent. More should be done to encourage single parents who are not receiving child support to apply for child support for their children.
Raising children is expensive, and child support is meant to help single parents meet the financial needs of their children. When parents fail to make child support payments, their children suffer. People who are not receiving child support and who are raising their children alone may want to talk to family law attorneys to see what methods of enforcement might be available, including a wage garnishment.