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Split Custody and Census 2020: Don’t Let Your Child Be Unaccounted For

April 1, 2020, is Census Day across the United States, but how do you ensure everyone is accounted for when you have a split custody arrangement? Why does it matter?

The Population and Housing Census is taken once every ten years. Last time the Census was done, in 2010, as many as 1 million children were not accounted for. There is no reason why children should be unaccounted for. The Census is crucial as the data from it affects funding for the next ten years for programs such as housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. Not counting your children on April 1, 2020, affects benefits your child is or might be receiving, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Food Stamps (SNAP), and National School Lunch Program.

Accountability Issues for Split Custody

There are certain situations that lead to children not being accounted for. One of which is that where there is a split custody arrangement. What parent or guardian counts the child? Can a grandparent who has a child living with them count the child as living in their household?

Not everyone likes to co-parent or reach out to the other side. However, if you can reach out to the other parent and agree on who will list the child on the Census form, then go for it. This might be the easiest way to make sure your child is accounted for. But for most, this is not the case. So…who gets to claim the child on the Census form?

If your child truly spends equal time between both homes, the child should be counted where he/she stayed on April 1, 2020. Even if a timesharing agreement is temporary or unclear, the parent or guardian of the child shall count the child if they are with them on April 1, 2020, grandparents with custody included. This will help alleviate any issues on who claims the child on the censes form. Newborns are to be included in this count too, so do not forget the little ones when responding to the form as there is no age requirement on when your child should be counted.

The Census Procedure

The Census form takes 10 minutes and can be filled out online, by phone, or through the mail. Those 10 minutes will last for the next ten years. The goal for the Census is to count the population and how many people are living in the household, especially children. Forms that are done online or by phone can be interpreted into different languages so there is no excuse as to why anyone should not participate.

Your response is not to be used against you. Your answer is protected by Federal Law, and the Census Bureau CANNOT release any identifiable information about you and your family to anyone. The information used is ONLY for statistical purposes, so remember to answer truthfully.

Adults and children of all ages are counted, and if you live in a home where there is a split custody agreement make sure that your child is accounted for on April 1, 2020! #Census2020

Contact DADvocacy™ Law Firm for Advice

Are you looking for professional legal advice regarding a legal issue affecting your child? If so, you should reach out to an experienced attorney from the DADvocacy™ Law Firm. Our team of dedicated lawyers has the knowledge and experience to ensure you and your family’s rights are properly protected.

For a free initial consultation, call us at (305) 371-7640 or contact us onlinetoday.