NRFC Quick Statistics and Research Reviews, Brief
In 2016, more than one in four children under 21 in the United States lived in a household apart from one of their parents. In 80 percent of these households, the custodial parent was the mother and the non-residential parent was the father. The amount and frequency of financial support that both parents provide shapes household economic stability, which can also affect children’s overall health and well-being. Non-residential parents often have a legal obligation to help pay the costs associated with raising their children. However, some non-residential parents pay these costs…
This research brief from the Office of Child Support Enforcement identifies findings from a five-site Parenting Time Opportunities for Children (PTOC) grant. This grant, awarded to child support agencies in California, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Oregon, was intended to demonstrate how child support agencies can include parenting time orders in child support enforcement actions and how the increases in noncustodial parenting time, with safeguards in place for child welfare, led to improved relationships and increased compliance with child support payment.
In fiscal year 2018, noncustodial parents were obligated to pay nearly $33.6 billion in current child support on behalf of the 15 million children served by the Title IV-D child support program. One-third of that, or $11 billion, was not collected. Unemployment is the leading reason for non-payment of child support by noncustodial parents. This brief will explore the opportunities at the state and federal levels to provide employment services to noncustodial parents and increase child support payments in the process.
Low-skilled men, especially minorities, typically work at low levels and provide little support for their children. Conservatives blame this on government willingness to support families, which frees the fathers from responsibility, while liberals say that men are denied work by racial bias or the economy--either a lack of jobs or low wages, which depress the incentive to work. The evidence for all these theories is weak. Thus, changing program benefits or incentives is unlikely to solve the men's work problem. More promising is the idea of linking assistance with administrative requirements…
This brief explores in-depth interviews with low-income fathers enrolled in responsible fatherhood programs about their experiences with the child support system. The brief explores three main themes: 1) The challenge that economic instability poses to fathers in meeting their child support obligations; 2) Fathers’ experiences requesting modifications to make child support obligations align better with their income; and 3) Fathers’ views of the disconnection between paying child support and having access to their children. (Author abstract)
This chapter reports on in-depth interviews with 41 current and recent TANF recipients that discussed the various contributions that fathers make to their children, their strengths and limitations as fathers, and the benefits and challenges of their varying levels of participation in family life. It then explores whether mothers’ voices can inform policy options. 1 table and numerous references.
Drawing on data from 44 African American low-income fathers and interviews with three African American fathers conducted in the wake of Wisconsin’s effort to reduce the welfare rolls, this chapter examines how some men push to meet the basic financial and even emotional needs of their children. Findings indicate child support enforcement was a source of frustration and pain. 26 references.
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The article discusses the answers on questions posed regarding public policy toward fathers with low income in the child support program. It states that the federal government must aim for additional funding to programs designed for the employment of low-income fathers in the child support programs that would increase employment and decrease poverty among low-earning fathers and their children. It notes that making programs mandatory and voluntary will be beneficial to low-earning fathers in the child support program. It mentions that said programs may include services like case management,…
As described in earlier articles, children whose parents have higher income and education levels are more likely to grow up in stable two-parent households than their economically disadvantaged counterparts. These widening gaps in fathers' involvement in parenting and in the quality and stability of parents' relationships may reinforce disparities in outcomes for the next generation. This paper reviews evidence about the effectiveness of two strategies to strengthen fathers' involvement and family relationships-- fatherhood programs aimed at disadvantaged noncustodial fathers and relationship…
This paper analyzes legislative proposals that address marriage, and the potential impact on current fatherhood programs serving low-income families. The initiation of fatherhood programs following the passage of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act in 1996 is reviewed and current legislative proposals are described, including: the Child Support Distribution Act of 2001 and the Fathers Count Act of 1999, which combine child support reform measures with fatherhood provisions; the Strengthening Working Families Act, which contains child support distribution…