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Study finds that Washington children still struggling for money

Spokane residents who have has children understand that raising a child can be an incredibly rewarding, albeit difficult life event. Children equate serious responsibility and rely upon parents to raise them, care for them, clothe, feed and nurture them. It is not an easy task, and while some parents excel, others really drop the ball. Whether it is missed soccer games or missed child support payments, a passive or apathetic parent has an incredible impact on their child.

Child support payments are a common form of support in the United States. When parents of a child no longer live together or are married, a child support order may be drafted by a family court judge and it will typically dictate the time and amounts to by paid by the parent. Recent Washington studies have shown that while the economic well-being of Washington children was in decline with the recession, education and health indexes have improved. Particularly noteworthy however, according to the Kids Count Data Book, the overall well-being for children of color is significantly lower than their peers, which is a trend not only seen in Washington state, but the nation as well. Data showed that the number of children in Washington living in poverty increased three percent in 2011. The study indicated that loss of employment of a parent and difficulty finding work or obtaining support were contributing factors to children struggling in poverty.

Child support is a very important function that government is involved in. As the above study indicates, children are directly impacted by a parent's financial well-being. When a child is not receiving court order child support payments, it hurts the parent with custody, the child as well as the state, who may be forced to intervene and lend support. Child support payments can cover clothing, food, shelter, school fees, medical expenses, entertainment and extracurricular activities.

Missed child support payments can hurt a lot of people, including the delinquent parent. Parents who are unable to pay child support and have a valid explanation may be able to modify their current child support payment obligations with the court. On the other hand, a parent who is not receiving monthly child support payments can seek assistance from the district attorney or other programs which will help to track down the delinquent parent and get payments scheduled. An attorney can help in both matters, which ultimately will help to support our children to become healthy, active and productive members of our community.

Source: Seattle Times, "Report: Economic well-being of kids in Washington still down," June 24, 2013

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