June 2018 | Elaine Sorensen, federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services

The Story Behind the Numbers: Exploring Trends in the Percent of Orders for Zero Dollars

OCSE collects data from state child support agencies on the number of support orders that do not have a dollar support amount, referred to as zero orders. These may reflect different types of orders – medical support only, shared custody, arrears only, or current support with no amount due. Zero orders have been increasing over time within the child support program. Today, they represent 10% of support orders nationally. This Story Behind the Numbers explores this trend and examines why zero orders have become more common in the child support program.

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