The money that custodial parents in California receive for child support is very important. It is particularly necessary for low-income families that often depend on this money as a sizable part of their income.

According to a Census blog article using statistics from the 2013 Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support report, only 45.6 percent of custodial parents with child support orders received the full payment. Another 28.6 percent received partial payments, and 25.9 percent of these parents did not receive payment at all. The report stated that the average amount of child support in 2013 was $330 a month or $3,950 a year. However, the actual average amount due was $480 a month or $5,770 a year. While receiving full support can cover 17.7 percent of the personal income for some families, it is critical for families living below the poverty line to receive the full payment as it amounts to 70.3 percent of their personal income.

Custodial parents also can receive assistance in non-cash forms from the non-custodial parents. Non-cash assistance can come in the form of birthday, holiday or other gifts; personal items such as clothes, shoes and diapers; payment of medical expenses, food and groceries; and payment of child care or of activities such as summer camp. According to reports, 61.7 percent of custodial parents said that they received at least one form of non-cash support in 2014.

The guidance and advice a family law lawyer might offer can be very valuable when negotiations are taking place. A lawyer can provide an unbiased, non-emotional viewpoint and can often help parents to receive the amount of support necessary to provide for their children.