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Custodial parents and poverty

Custodial parents face many challenges when it comes to raising a child. Aside from moving forward after a difficult divorce and dealing with negative emotions such as anxiety or depression, many custodial parents face serious financial problems. Unfortunately, raising a child is especially difficult for parents who are impoverished.

Across the country, an unsettling number of custodial parents are living in poverty. If you are a custodial parent facing financial hardships, it is important for you to try to stay positive and protect your child’s best interests.

Statistics on custodial parents living in poverty

According to the United States Census Bureau, data from 2015 shows that during this year, far more custodial mothers were living in poverty than custodial fathers. During 2015, 1.6 million custodial parents who were owed child support had incomes that were beneath the poverty level. In 2015, the poverty rate for custodial fathers was 16 percent, while the poverty rate for custodial mothers was 29 percent.

Handling poverty as a custodial parent

From paying bills to buying food and school supplies, custodial parents face many financial pressures. Those living in poverty often have a particularly hard time staying current on these obligations and it is critical for custodial parents to understand their legal options. For example, some are able to improve their financial circumstances by pursuing child support enforcement. Likewise, many non-custodial parents face poverty and this can interfere with their ability to stay current. For non-custodial parents in this position, looking into child support order modification and carefully reviewing one’s career options is often very helpful.