Child Support, Custody, & Visitation

Child support is an important component of strengthening families, providing children with necessities, and helping facilitate visitation. Responsible parenting includes providing emotion, physical, and financial stability for your children.  This can be difficult when parents separate, and children are being raised apart from one or both of their biological parents. The child support system is set up to help families and ensure that both parents contribute to their child’s financial needs. To help strengthen families and overcome barriers, fathers and their families may need help navigating the child support system.

Child support programs are evolving at the national and state levels and finding innovative ways to engage fathers in the lives of their children. These programs are moving toward family-centered practices that emphasize accurate child support orders based on actual income, family distribution, debt prevention, and services to increase non-custodial parent employment and improving family relationships.

Tips & Best Practices

Spotlight On
The Times They Are a Changin’? New collaboration approaches in Child Support and Fatherhood Programs

Cover of HHS/ACF Child Support Awareness Month: A look at How Child Support is Evolving

November 29, 2016

August 2016 celebrated the 21st anniversary of National Child Support Awareness Month. On August 5, 1995, President William J. Clinton signed Proclamation 6814 highlighting the importance of providing for our children as the “sum of our past and the promise of our future,” and acknowledging the role of all child support programs to ensuring children receive the necessary financial support to “lead secure and healthy lives.”


What changes have been made to child support enforcement?

On December 19, 2016, the Office of Child Support Enforcement announced a new rule to make state child support enforcement programs more effective, flexible, and family-friendly. The rule requires state child support agencies to ensure that child support orders – the amount noncustodial parents are required to pay each month – reflect the parent’s ability to pay. 

What do I do if I my income decreased and I’m not able to pay the full child support amount?

Learn more about what steps to take if you have a child support order and your income has gone down.

How can I help a fellow father in need of assistance?

For resources and information to help fathers address individual concerns or situations, please visit our Connect with Programs page to locate local resources in your area.

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