Parents in New York may benefit from learning about the statistics revealed in the Custodial Mothers and Father and Their Child Support report that is released by the United States Census Bureau every couple of years. The latest version, which was released in January 2016, provides information that contradicts assertions made by some political commentators that single parents are receiving too much child support.

The report provides an accurate glimpse of the number of single parents who have an informal or formal child support order that is in place. It also reveals how much money is owed to parents versus how much they actually receive.

According to the report, there are 13.4 million custodial single parents in the United States. Almost half of those parents have an informal or legal child support agreement. Out of those agreements, 89.8 percent of them are formal child support agreements that were arranged via a Title IV-D agency or in the court system. The remaining 10.2 percent of the agreements are informal arrangements that were developed between the two parents.

The amount of child support that people owed in 2013 totaled $32.9 billion with an average amount of $5,774 due each year, or less than $500 a month. However, just 68.5 percent of that child support made it to the parents who were to receive it, which means only an average of $3,950 per year, or $350 per month, was received to apply to shelter, clothing, food, education, medical costs and other expenses associated with raising children.

An attorney who practices family law may assist clients with resolving spousal support and maintenance issues. A lawyer may petition that a client’s former spousal pay more in support to address growing financial needs. Litigation may be used to request a standard of living adjustment.