May 2018 | Elaine Sorenson, Office of Child Support Enforcement, 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

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement 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 particular 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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