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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Demyan, Natalie; Passarella, Letitia Logan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Using the sample of orders from Maryland’s 2011 to 2014 guidelines review, this brief analyzes data regarding payments made during the first year after order establishment or modification. We answer the following research questions:

    1. Did orders that deviated from the guidelines experience higher payment compliance than orders that did not deviate?

    2. Did the reasons for deviations have an effect on payment compliance?

    We also explore obligor income as it relates to both deviations and payment compliance. Families with higher incomes were more likely to receive a deviation from the guidelines, and obligors with higher incomes also had a higher level of payment compliance (Hall, Demyan, & Passarella, 2016; Saunders, Passarella, & Born, 2014). Therefore, we also investigate whether obligors who received a deviation had different payment compliance outcomes compared to obligors who did not receive a deviation, even if both groups of obligors had similar incomes. (Edited author introduction)

     

    Using the sample of orders from Maryland’s 2011 to 2014 guidelines review, this brief analyzes data regarding payments made during the first year after order establishment or modification. We answer the following research questions:

    1. Did orders that deviated from the guidelines experience higher payment compliance than orders that did not deviate?

    2. Did the reasons for deviations have an effect on payment compliance?

    We also explore obligor income as it relates to both deviations and payment compliance. Families with higher incomes were more likely to receive a deviation from the guidelines, and obligors with higher incomes also had a higher level of payment compliance (Hall, Demyan, & Passarella, 2016; Saunders, Passarella, & Born, 2014). Therefore, we also investigate whether obligors who received a deviation had different payment compliance outcomes compared to obligors who did not receive a deviation, even if both groups of obligors had similar incomes. (Edited author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Ash, Daniel O.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Face to Face represents CFFPP’s attempt to document the experiences of low-income, never-married fathers who have children receiving public assistance, and are required to establish paternity and pay child support. To do this, CFFPP interviewed 71 fathers either in focus groups or individually. Each father was asked to describe his relationship with his children, his experience with the child support enforcement system, and, if legal paternity had not been established, why he had avoided it. In addition to the focus groups and individual interviews, CFFPP conducted a case study of one never-married father who voluntarily sought to establish
    paternity and secure support and visitation orders. It is CFFPP’s goal that this report inform policy makers, practitioners and advocates who are seeking to develop more effective strategies on how to get low-income fathers to establish paternity and work within the formal child support system. Moreover, this report, given its qualitative nature, puts a face to the often abstract portrait of never-married fathers; a portrait...

    Face to Face represents CFFPP’s attempt to document the experiences of low-income, never-married fathers who have children receiving public assistance, and are required to establish paternity and pay child support. To do this, CFFPP interviewed 71 fathers either in focus groups or individually. Each father was asked to describe his relationship with his children, his experience with the child support enforcement system, and, if legal paternity had not been established, why he had avoided it. In addition to the focus groups and individual interviews, CFFPP conducted a case study of one never-married father who voluntarily sought to establish
    paternity and secure support and visitation orders. It is CFFPP’s goal that this report inform policy makers, practitioners and advocates who are seeking to develop more effective strategies on how to get low-income fathers to establish paternity and work within the formal child support system. Moreover, this report, given its qualitative nature, puts a face to the often abstract portrait of never-married fathers; a portrait that blurs their image with “deadbeats” (fathers who can but choose not to pay child support). (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Murphy, Jane C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    This Article analyzes the issue of paternity disestablishment, an issue courts and legislatures have been struggling with over the last several years. For a variety of reasons explored in this Article, an increasing number of fathers have filed requests to set aside paternity orders seeking to be relieved of the legal obligations of fatherhood. As a result families have been destabilized and children are becoming fatherless. The implications for the future of the family are profound. Although some scholars have examined this phenomenon, none have addressed the link between paternity disestablishment and welfare reform.

    This Article explores the law's evolving definition of fatherhood and concludes that the law's response to the paternity disestablishment crisis threatens to impose a narrow definition of fatherhood based on biology. This new definition of fatherhood has not developed to serve any of the traditional goals of family law, protecting children and preserving family stability. Rather, this trend appears to be one of the unintended consequences of two decades of...

    This Article analyzes the issue of paternity disestablishment, an issue courts and legislatures have been struggling with over the last several years. For a variety of reasons explored in this Article, an increasing number of fathers have filed requests to set aside paternity orders seeking to be relieved of the legal obligations of fatherhood. As a result families have been destabilized and children are becoming fatherless. The implications for the future of the family are profound. Although some scholars have examined this phenomenon, none have addressed the link between paternity disestablishment and welfare reform.

    This Article explores the law's evolving definition of fatherhood and concludes that the law's response to the paternity disestablishment crisis threatens to impose a narrow definition of fatherhood based on biology. This new definition of fatherhood has not developed to serve any of the traditional goals of family law, protecting children and preserving family stability. Rather, this trend appears to be one of the unintended consequences of two decades of federal and state policy designed to reform the nation's welfare system. The broad goals of these policies may be well founded. But modern child support enforcement policy, so central to welfare reform and aimed most aggressively against low income fathers, is pushing fathers to seek disestablishment of paternity. In response, courts and legislatures are reinstating a construct of paternal functions defined in economic terms and grounded in biology. This new definition of fatherhood ignores other bases for fatherhood based on marriage, care taking or both. As a result, the state's interests in collecting child support, protecting children and preserving families are undermined by the very laws that should protect those interests. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Saunders, Correne; Young, Danielle; Ovwigho, Pamela Caudill; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Since the mid-1990s, Maryland’s Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) has contracted with the Family Welfare Research and Training Group (FWG) at the School of Social Work (SSW), University of Maryland Baltimore to achieve the second purpose of the quadrennial review: to collect and analyze case data on the application of and deviations from child support guidelines. Today’s report presents findings from review of a random sample of 6,530 Maryland IV-D child support cases in which support orders were established or modified between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2006.

    Compared with previous case-level reviews also conducted by the FWG as part of a long-standing research partnership with CSEA, this review is much broader in scope. Our sample of cases is much larger because it is stratified by order type and jurisdiction, and provides valid results at the state level as well as comparisons of new versus modified orders and comparisons across jurisdictions. The main research questions of the review are as follows:

    1) What are the characteristics of IV-D...

    Since the mid-1990s, Maryland’s Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) has contracted with the Family Welfare Research and Training Group (FWG) at the School of Social Work (SSW), University of Maryland Baltimore to achieve the second purpose of the quadrennial review: to collect and analyze case data on the application of and deviations from child support guidelines. Today’s report presents findings from review of a random sample of 6,530 Maryland IV-D child support cases in which support orders were established or modified between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2006.

    Compared with previous case-level reviews also conducted by the FWG as part of a long-standing research partnership with CSEA, this review is much broader in scope. Our sample of cases is much larger because it is stratified by order type and jurisdiction, and provides valid results at the state level as well as comparisons of new versus modified orders and comparisons across jurisdictions. The main research questions of the review are as follows:

    1) What are the characteristics of IV-D child support cases with orders established or modified between 2002 and 2006? What are the characteristics of noncustodial parents and custodians associated with these cases?

    2) What is the deviation rate among cases with orders established or modified between 2002 and 2006? Are deviations from the child support guidelines more or less likely in certain types of cases?

    3) How do new child support orders compare with modified child support orders established between 2002 and 2006? Are deviations from the child support guidelines more or less likely depending on the type of order?

    4) How do the characteristics of cases with orders established or modified between 2002 and 2006 vary among local jurisdictions? Are deviations from the child support guidelines more or less likely in certain jurisdictions?

    To put our findings in context, the next chapter provides a short history of child support guidelines and previous case-level reviews. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ovwigho, Pamela C.; Saunders, Correne; Born, Catherine E.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Today’s report is the first in a series of studies designed to provide, for the first time ever, a comprehensive, detailed exposition and data-driven understanding of the arrears phenomenon in our state. In addition, today’s report is meant to serve as the empirical baseline with regard to arrears. To the extent that the central child support office, local support agencies, and/or other entities make efforts to address Maryland’s $1.5 billion support arrears problem, the baseline picture presented in this report can be used to empirically document and assess the outcomes of those efforts. To carry out this initial study, we chose September 2005 as our baseline month and utilized a variety of administrative data sources to address five straightforward but critically important research questions:

    1) How much is owed in past-due child support for Maryland cases and to whom?
    2) How are arrears cases and debt distributed across Maryland jurisdictions?
    3) What are the characteristics of cases with arrears?
    4) What are the characteristics of obligors who owe...

    Today’s report is the first in a series of studies designed to provide, for the first time ever, a comprehensive, detailed exposition and data-driven understanding of the arrears phenomenon in our state. In addition, today’s report is meant to serve as the empirical baseline with regard to arrears. To the extent that the central child support office, local support agencies, and/or other entities make efforts to address Maryland’s $1.5 billion support arrears problem, the baseline picture presented in this report can be used to empirically document and assess the outcomes of those efforts. To carry out this initial study, we chose September 2005 as our baseline month and utilized a variety of administrative data sources to address five straightforward but critically important research questions:

    1) How much is owed in past-due child support for Maryland cases and to whom?
    2) How are arrears cases and debt distributed across Maryland jurisdictions?
    3) What are the characteristics of cases with arrears?
    4) What are the characteristics of obligors who owe arrears?
    5) What risk factors are associated with high debt and low arrears collections?

    Our goal in addressing these basic questions is to provide elected and appointed officials, advocates, and others with the first-ever, holistic, empirical picture of the arrears situation in our state. We also draw on study findings and our many years of experience with Maryland’s child support program to make certain observations and suggestions about approaches that may hold promise vis-à-vis child support arrears. There are no quick or easy or ‘one size fits all’ fixes to this complex and multi-faceted problem, but the solid empirical understanding of arrears provided by this study is a necessary pre-condition for effective action. Thus, this report coupled with our state’s emphasis on seeking consensus in public policy in pursuit of the common good, provides Maryland, for the first time, with a solid basis from which to move forward in tackling the vexing but critically important issue of child support arrears. (author abstract) 

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