Do Nonresident Fathers Who Pay Child Support Visit Their Children More?

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Koball, Heather.
Principe, Desiree.
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In this brief we examine the relationship between increased child support enforcement and frequency of visitation between children and their nonresident fathers. Children who live apart from their fathers are at a greater risk of living in poverty, having low academic achievement, and exhibiting behavioral problems. Frequent contact between children and their nonresident fathers can protect children from some of the negative consequences of parental separation. Several recent studies have shown that more frequent contact with nonresident fathers is linked to children's greater emotional wellbeing and academic success (Amato and Gilbreth 1999; Perloff and Buckner 1996; Coley 1998). Children often desire more contact with their nonresident fathers. In fact, children of divorce reported that the most negative outcome of their parents' divorce was reduced contact with their fathers (Kelly 1993). As child support enforcement forges a monetary connection between many nonresident fathers and their children, fathers may have more desire to maintain or develop an emotional connection to their children.

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