Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and correlated by an independent data journalist indicate that noncustodial mothers from California to New York are less likely to pay any of the child support they owe than noncustodial fathers. According to the analysis, while households with custodial mothers outnumbered those of custodial fathers by a ratio of 9 to 1, 75 percent of noncustodial fathers paid all their child support versus 67.9 percent of noncustodial mothers.

These statistics challenge conventional wisdom that mothers are more likely to pay child support than fathers. However, in households where the custodial father does not collect child support, the annual income tends to be over $9,000 higher than in households where they do. The woman who correlated the data hypothesizes this is because male income is nearly double that of females, and men have less need or desire to go through state channels to enforce child support payments than women.

The report gives an annual income figure for female-run households of about $26,000 while a male-run household generates $52,000 a year. Women who sought out child support had an increased household income of about $4,800 per year across the country. Meanwhile, men who relied on child support payments saw a decrease of over $9,000 on average in their annual household income.

This analysis may suggest child support arrangements might affect a person’s quality of life after a marriage ends. A divorce attorney may construct an agreement that includes property division and child support provisions and is fair to both parties. This settlement might then be presented to the other spouse for review and approval. Upon the other party’s acceptance, the attorney may present the settlement to a judge for final review and entry as part of the final divorce decree.