Norms About Nonresident Fathers' Obligations and Rights.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Lin, I., McLanahan, S. S.
Type of Resource: 
Journal Article
Page Count: 

The new welfare reform law includes a number of provisions designed to increase the amount of child support paid by nonresident fathers, but little is known about whether stronger child support enforcement may create parental conflict. Parental conflict may increase when fathers do not wish to pay or when fathers pay and demand more time with their child, but mothers resist these demands. Using seven-city data from the study of Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing, the authors find that very few parents are opposed to the idea that fathers should have child support obligations and rights to see their child and make decisions about how their child is raised. They also find very few disagreements among couples. However, that nearly 20 percent of mothers object to fathers' rights to make decisions among parents whose romantic relationships have ended. The authors also find weak evidence that tough enforcement increases the odds that mothers will object to fathers' rights. (Author abstract) 33 refereces, 6 tables.