What is alimony and how can I claim it?


Every year, millions of custodial single parents across the United States claim child support of the child’s other parent, helping to cover the children’s education costs.

Alimony is a monthly payment, set by a court, that the the non-custodial parent is legally required to pay the custodial parent. The term “custodial parent” refers to the parent who takes care of the child on a more regular basis and therefore bears the related costs.

Payments are designed to cover the cost of daily necessities, such as food, clothing, housing and medical expenses. Of course, the exact situation and financial commitments are different in each parenting relationship, which means child support payments are decided on a case-by-case basis.

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How to get help with child support claims

Child support claims are organized at the state level and are therefore subject to the laws and requirements established by each state. For more information on how child support claims are handled where you live, follow these steps:

  1. Contact your state or tribal child support agency
  2. Gather the documents you will need to submit with your application
  3. Complete an application for your state

If you are still unsure how to proceed, you can also receive guidance at the federal level by consulting the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) recommendation.

Typically, state and local governments are the ones to deal with issues such as non-payment. If you are having trouble receiving payments from a non-custodial parent, you should pursue the case in the state where the child support case is active.

What is the average amount of child support?

A report republished in 2020 titled Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2015 revealed that there were 13.6 million custodial single parents living in the United States. In 12.1% of cases, parents work on the basis of an informal support agreement, but the remaining 87.9% are formal agreements established in court or through a Title IV agency. D.

As mentioned, the amount a custodial parent receives is based on the exact situation and financial means of everyone involved, but the 2015 report was able to outline the typical payment amount. He found that the the average amount of child support owed was $5,760 per year, equivalent to less than $500 per month.

However in reality only about 60% of the money owed has actually been paid, giving an average of $3,447 per year. This equates to just $287 per month. Unfortunately, 21.7% of custodial parents said they had to seek government assistance to help collect child support.


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