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  • Individual Author: Garfinkel, Irwin; Heintze, Theresa; Huang, Chien-Chung
    Reference Type: White Papers
    Year: 2001

    Public enforcement of private child support obligations transfers income from nonresident parents to resident parents (mostly mothers) or, if the mother is receiving welfare, to the state. This paper reviews and synthesizes existing literature on the effects of this transfer of income and presents new empirical evidence on the effects of stronger enforcement on the incomes of mothers and their children. Findings show that more stringent child support enforcement increases the labor supply of mothers who would otherwise have been on welfare, increases slightly or has no effect on the labor supply of nonresident fathers, decreases divorce and non-marital births, and decreases remarriages of both mothers and fathers. Empirical estimates indicate that stronger child support enforcement increases the income of single mothers and their dependent children by two dollars for each dollar of child support received by single mothers. This implies that the dominant effect of additional child support is to encourage welfare participant single mothers to leave welfare and enter the labor...

    Public enforcement of private child support obligations transfers income from nonresident parents to resident parents (mostly mothers) or, if the mother is receiving welfare, to the state. This paper reviews and synthesizes existing literature on the effects of this transfer of income and presents new empirical evidence on the effects of stronger enforcement on the incomes of mothers and their children. Findings show that more stringent child support enforcement increases the labor supply of mothers who would otherwise have been on welfare, increases slightly or has no effect on the labor supply of nonresident fathers, decreases divorce and non-marital births, and decreases remarriages of both mothers and fathers. Empirical estimates indicate that stronger child support enforcement increases the income of single mothers and their dependent children by two dollars for each dollar of child support received by single mothers. This implies that the dominant effect of additional child support is to encourage welfare participant single mothers to leave welfare and enter the labor market. This suggests that child support enforcement, in terms of breadth of legislation and administrative expenditures, has an impact on the income of eligible women. (Contains 53 references.) (Eric.gov-SM) (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Powers, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    So long as child support enforcement was entirely the legal domain of the states, it was nearly impossible to pursue claims across state lines, and interstate claims were characterized as the “black hole” of child support enforcement. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) clarified lines of authority, opened state IV-D agencies and courts to interstate claimants, and invented powerful new tools for pursuing cross-state claims. This paper uses Survey of Income and Program Participation data spanning the reform era to assess the success of this policy. The potential endogeneity of interstate moves with the policy regime may bias conventional regression estimates. A conditional difference-in-difference matching estimator is implemented instead. The findings indicate greatly increased administrative enforcement activity for interstate cases subsequent to UIFSA. This activity increased formal support agreements and identified greater amounts of support owed. There is also evidence of increased interstate collections and a closing of the ‘black hole’. Support collections...

    So long as child support enforcement was entirely the legal domain of the states, it was nearly impossible to pursue claims across state lines, and interstate claims were characterized as the “black hole” of child support enforcement. The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) clarified lines of authority, opened state IV-D agencies and courts to interstate claimants, and invented powerful new tools for pursuing cross-state claims. This paper uses Survey of Income and Program Participation data spanning the reform era to assess the success of this policy. The potential endogeneity of interstate moves with the policy regime may bias conventional regression estimates. A conditional difference-in-difference matching estimator is implemented instead. The findings indicate greatly increased administrative enforcement activity for interstate cases subsequent to UIFSA. This activity increased formal support agreements and identified greater amounts of support owed. There is also evidence of increased interstate collections and a closing of the ‘black hole’. Support collections increased especially for welfare-receiving households, but nonwhite households and households with nonmarital births do not appear to be helped by UIFSA. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pirog, Maureen A.; Ziol-Guest, Kathleen M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    The article discusses the Child Support Enforcement program in the U.S. The program attempts to encourage family self-sufficiency and child well-being through the establishment of paternities, medical and financial supports orders, and enforcing those orders by a federal, state, and local partnership. Established in 1975, its focus was on the recovery of the welfare costs. Over time, the program has dealt a rising proportion of all child support. (author abstract)

    The article discusses the Child Support Enforcement program in the U.S. The program attempts to encourage family self-sufficiency and child well-being through the establishment of paternities, medical and financial supports orders, and enforcing those orders by a federal, state, and local partnership. Established in 1975, its focus was on the recovery of the welfare costs. Over time, the program has dealt a rising proportion of all child support. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sorensen, Elaine; Halpern, Ariel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1999

    The federal and state governments have devoted considerable resources to strengthening child support enforcement over the last two decades, but the proportion of single mothers who receive child support has remained largely unchanged. Why does this trend appear impervious to state and federal efforts to increase child support? Have state and federal efforts to strengthen child support enforcement made a difference in single-mother families’ receipt of child support? To answer these questions, we examine 21 years of data from the Current Population Survey, supplemented with detailed information on state-level child support policies. We find that several tools of the child support enforcement system—the $50 pass-through, the tax intercept program, and presumptive guidelines—had a significantly positive effect on child support receipt among both never-married and previously married single mothers. As well, immediate wage withholding had a significantly positive impact on child support among previously married mothers on AFDC and the in-hospital paternity establishment program had a...

    The federal and state governments have devoted considerable resources to strengthening child support enforcement over the last two decades, but the proportion of single mothers who receive child support has remained largely unchanged. Why does this trend appear impervious to state and federal efforts to increase child support? Have state and federal efforts to strengthen child support enforcement made a difference in single-mother families’ receipt of child support? To answer these questions, we examine 21 years of data from the Current Population Survey, supplemented with detailed information on state-level child support policies. We find that several tools of the child support enforcement system—the $50 pass-through, the tax intercept program, and presumptive guidelines—had a significantly positive effect on child support receipt among both never-married and previously married single mothers. As well, immediate wage withholding had a significantly positive impact on child support among previously married mothers on AFDC and the in-hospital paternity establishment program had a significantly positive effect on child support among never-married mothers not on AFDC. Finally, we find that the expansion of the child support enforcement program during this time period had a significant impact on increasing child support receipt among both never-married and previously married mothers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sorensen, Elaine; Halpern, Ariel
    Reference Type: Report, Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 1999

    The federal and state governments have devoted considerable resources to strengthening child support enforcement over the last two decades, but the proportion of single mothers who receive child support has remained largely unchanged. In 1997, 31 percent of single-mother families received child support, a figure that is only slightly higher than it was 20 years earlier. Although this trend appears impervious to government efforts to increase child support, in fact, considerable progress has been made for certain subgroups of single mothers. This progress is masked by a shift in the marital status composition of single mothers, away from divorced and separated mothers toward never-married mothers, with the latter having a much lower rate of child support receipt than the former.

    Improvements in child support receipt rates for some subgroups of single mothers result, in part, from strengthened child support enforcement policies enacted since the 1970s. The child support provisions under the most recent round of welfare reform will likely perpetuate the upward trend in child...

    The federal and state governments have devoted considerable resources to strengthening child support enforcement over the last two decades, but the proportion of single mothers who receive child support has remained largely unchanged. In 1997, 31 percent of single-mother families received child support, a figure that is only slightly higher than it was 20 years earlier. Although this trend appears impervious to government efforts to increase child support, in fact, considerable progress has been made for certain subgroups of single mothers. This progress is masked by a shift in the marital status composition of single mothers, away from divorced and separated mothers toward never-married mothers, with the latter having a much lower rate of child support receipt than the former.

    Improvements in child support receipt rates for some subgroups of single mothers result, in part, from strengthened child support enforcement policies enacted since the 1970s. The child support provisions under the most recent round of welfare reform will likely perpetuate the upward trend in child support receipt rates for many single mothers. To the extent that fathers have the ability to pay child support, continued investment in the child support enforcement program will mean that even more single mothers will be able to count on child support in the future. (author introduction)

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