It has been over five years since I’ve posted new data on this, so I found the latest publication of Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support (cached) from the US Census and updated the charts below. The basic narrative is unchanged:
It starts with who is granted custody. This has been moving slightly in recent years, but 80% of the time custody goes to a parent* it is the mother and not the father:
For those few fathers granted custody, they are less likely than mothers who are granted custody to be awarded support, although interestingly mothers are slightly less likely to be awarded child support now than in the past:
When I first posted data on this the few fathers who were awarded support were awarded less on average than mothers who were awarded support. This now appears to be a wash:
Percent received also looks to be a wash:
As a result of the bias against fathers when it comes to getting custody and being awarded support, the percentage of all child support dollars paid is extremely biased, but is trending slightly less so:
*According to this Census data, only 4% of children live with neither parent, which is the same percent that live with only their fathers.