School of Social Work, Columbia University, 1255 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.
Child Support Obligations and Low-Income Fathers
Article first published online: 21 NOV 2005
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 67, Issue 5, pages 1213–1225, December 2005
How to Cite
Huang, C.-C., Mincy, R. B. and Garfinkel, I. (2005), Child Support Obligations and Low-Income Fathers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67: 1213–1225. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00211.x
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2005
- Article first published online: 21 NOV 2005
- child support compliance;
- child support obligation;
- child support order;
- low-income fathers
Using the 1994–1998 waves of the Current Population Survey—Child Support Supplement (N =5,387), the aims of this study are to document child support obligation rates of nonresident fathers, to examine the effect of the obligation rate on child support compliance, and to calculate the trade-off between fathers’ financial responsibility and children's well-being, paying particular attention to low-income fathers. The results indicate that low-income fathers have high child support obligation rates, which significantly reduce their child support compliance. Although lowering the obligation rate for these fathers may improve their compliance, it does not fully offset the lowered obligation amounts and leads to a 30% net payment loss for welfare mothers and a 43% loss for nonwelfare mothers. Policy implications are discussed.