August has been declared Child Support Awareness Month, and the California Department of Child Support Services is partnering with the 51 child support agencies throughout the state in an outreach effort. Plans for the month include events, posters and public service announcements.

According to a 2013 U.S. Census Bureau study, almost two-thirds of noncustodial parents have little or no contact with their children. Experts say that children tend to do better when they have the opportunity to build ongoing, meaningful relationships with both of their parents. One of the goals of Child Support Awareness Month is to encourage parents to keep up their involvement. The overall mission of the Department of Child Support Services is to provide child support services that help to improve the self-sufficiency of families and the health and happiness of children. In 2013, $2.3 billion in child support was distributed on behalf of the 1.4 million participating families and children.

The agency also encourages parents who have fallen behind in their child support payments to visit their local child support office to see if they qualify for a modification of their overdue balance. Parents may also seek a modification of their support payments or make a payment.

Noncustodial parents may qualify for child support modification if their financial circumstances have changed due to a change in marital status, job loss or an injury, for example. A divorce lawyer may review a parent’s circumstances to see if he or she is eligible for a modification. In the event that modification may be warranted, a lawyer might help with negotiations or litigation.

Source: Red Bluff Daily News, “August is Child Support Awareness Month“, July 31, 2014