North Carolina Divorce Attorneys Discuss: Single or separated mothers not living alone, but still in poverty

/// 11/23/2010

The number of unmarried women who became mothers between June 2007 and June 2008 reached four million, according to a November 4, 2010 report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those four million women, 28 percent were living with a partner. The report, Fertility of American Women: 2008, included in its percentage of cohabitating mothers, mothers who were separated as well as those who were married with an absent spouse. The North Carolina divorce attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt present these findings to emphasize the need for women, especially women with children, to protect themselves from the legal and financial burdens that can result from a separation or if living with children in an unmarried cohabitation relationship. While the report pointed out that the number of average births for women between the ages of 40 and 44 declined from 3.1 births per woman 30 years ago to 1.9`births per woman, the lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt explain that even a single child will impact a woman’s finances and require support, regardless of the parents’ relationship status.

According to Jane Dye, author of Fertility of American Women: 2008, “The report shows that many unmarried new moms are not raising their child alone.” The study found that Hispanic and black women had the highest levels of fertility, with 2.1 children born per woman, which was followed by non-Hispanic whites and Asians, with 1.8 births each. The report utilized data from the June 2008 Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the 2008 American Community Survey (ACS). The CPS data provided a historical perspective which was used to deduce the reduced rates in childbearing. The ACS data focused on current fertility experiences of women from 2007 to 2008.

The ACS data further provided insight into the effects the economic recession has had on mothers with newborns seeking employment. According to the report, “Nationwide, 6 percent of mothers with newborns were unemployed in 2008.” States with the highest levels of unemployment for new mothers included Alabama and Michigan. The report further noted that the proportion of new mothers in the workforce increased from 57 percent in 2006 to 61 percent in 2008.

While employment levels of new mothers have risen, the existence of poverty among them remains overwhelming. On a national level, one in four new mothers lived in poverty between 2007 and 2008. The highest levels of new mothers living in poverty were found in Montana, West Virginia and the southwestern and southern states spanning from Arizona to South Carolina.

The North Carolina family attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt submit these findings to shed light on the current status of  mothers living without partners. Whether a new mother is separated, divorced or cohabitating, it is necessary to provide a stable future for both herself and her child or children. As 25 percent of the population of new mothers are living in poverty, it seems obvious that many of their needs are not being met.

GW&H works to help those who may be experiencing the burden of failed attempts to collect child support and/or spousal support. The attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt make clear that, under North Carolina law, parents have a legal duty to financially support their children until they are emancipated, reach 18 years of age and have graduated from high school, otherwise cease to attend school on a regular basis, fail to make satisfactory academic progress towards graduation, or reach age 20, whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that payments cease at age 18 or prior to high school graduation.

In North Carolina, the courts must apply the presumptive child support guidelines, as periodically revised, up to a combined monthly gross income of $300,000.  If the child support guidelines are not applicable, the amount of support each parent is obligated to pay is generally based upon the proportion of his or her income and the time spent by the child with each parent. If you are in the situation where negotiating or being awarded a child support payment is necessary to the wellbeing of both you and your children, it is important that you speak with an attorney experienced in obtaining and enforcing child support obligations.

The North Carolina family attorneys of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt are knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of divorce and family law. Experienced in matters concerning child support, child custody, alimony and asset distribution, GW&H is one of North Carolina’s most accomplished domestic relations family law firms.

To contact the North Carolina divorce lawyers of Gailor, Wallis and Hunt, call them at 866-362-7586.

Gailor, Wallis & Hunt, PLLC

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