August is Back to School month for much of the nation. Whether there’s excitement about going back or loud sighs, August means back to school. There’s a lot to prepare for, and a lot of things to purchase.

August is also National Child Support Month. The month is designated to bring awareness to how critical this income is for families. Statewide in 2021, the Wyoming Department of Health reported 4,281 marriages and 2,168 divorces. 

Forty-four percent of those divorces involved a minor. In Albany County, 34.7 percent of divorces involve at least one minor. According to the Wyoming Child Support Program, 72.69 percent of divorce cases are paying monthly child support statewide, and 73.42 percent are paying child support in Albany County. 

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But that critical income isn’t always paid. That makes back-to-school purchases even harder for Laramie residents, especially considering almost 18 percent of Albany County residents live in poverty, according to the most recent US Census Bureau data from 2022. When looking at payments that haven’t been made, the federal government measures child support payment performance by total cases that are behind in payments that had a payment in the fiscal year. 

In Albany County, 77.24 percent of cases had a payment in the last fiscal year. A payment. Over 77 percent of single parents expect that income may have only received one payment in the last year. Statewide, the number sits just above 75 percent. 

In order to receive assistance with Child Support needs, individuals must apply to the Wyoming Child Support Program. The program can help parents and guardians navigate child support, whether paying or collecting it. They can also help participants find ways to save money and establish paternity. 

While Wyoming is in the top five states to live in for many reasons, August highlights that it may not be the case for all residents in our state.

 

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