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How widespread is poverty among custodial parents?

There are a number of challenges that may arise with respect to child custody, from anxiety about a custody hearing to handling the outcome of a custody dispute. Even after custody matters have been settled, other hardships may arise, such as custodial parents experiencing financial difficulties. These financial problems may be brought on by various problems, from not receiving child support that is owed to significant financial changes following the end of a marriage. Unfortunately, far too many custodial parents find themselves in this position and it is important to understand just how many custodial parents are facing significant financial difficulties.

Data that is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau states that in 2013, 31.2 percent of custodial mothers were living below the poverty level. Over the course of the same year, only 17.4 percent of custodial fathers had an income that was below the poverty level. Moreover, among parents who were living in poverty and received all of the child support they were owed, child support payments made up for 70.3 percent of their mean personal income on an annual basis.

For custodial parents, life can be challenging on a daily basis. From buying food to school supplies and paying bills, there are many costs associated with raising a child. However, there are a number of ways to address these difficulties, such as enforcing a child support order to carefully planning ahead before the divorce process. As with all legal matters involving children, it is vital to always keep the best interests of your child in mind. 

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