Government Help for Divorced Single Mothers
Government help can be a great option for divorced single mothers who find themselves struggling. Often divorced single mothers have to deal with working at least one job (usually two), all the needs of their children, their own obligations, and sometimes, an ex-husband who doesn’t want to pay his share of the bills for the kids. In a case like this, divorced single mothers need help – and that’s where the government steps in.
There are several options for government help for single mothers. Let’s start with the most basic: Child Support Services.
Child support services are based in various counties in your state. They handle everything required to enforce a court order of child support. They will help you track down your ex-husband, garnish his wages, get DNA testing done if necessary, and otherwise aid you in pursuing what your children are entitled to receive.
Other government help is available for divorced single mothers. Every state has a program meant for those mothers who aren’t receiving child support and need assistance to get them over the hump. In most states this is called Families First. It provides a certain amount of food stamps, medical care, and a weekly or monthly stipend to help bridge the gap between the money you have and the money you need. The money for Families First is then collected from the person who should have been paying child support all along, so it’s money you don’t have to pay back.
If you are having trouble with some of the basic bills, there is government assistance for that as well. Food stamps, available through the Department of Human Services, can help you and your kids through the lean times. Visit DHS to learn about housing opportunities as well, and learn about housing assistance that offers rent on a sliding scale, dependent upon your income.
Energy assistance is a fund that helps out with utility bills, especially during the bitter months of the winter season. This is not only funded by the government, but also accepts private donations to keep the coffers full for those who really need it. If you are having trouble paying your electric or gas bill, contact the Energy Assistance program in your area.
Finally, keep in mind that your child’s school is a good place to find leads to government help. Programs such as the free or reduced lunch program can help you out financially while making certain your child is getting all the food they need. Your school will have even more tips for you, so check them out as soon as you leave DHS.