Since September 2005, Michael Turner has been incarcerated on six different occasions for nonpayment of child support. His prison terms total over three years in jail. He currently owes over $20,000 in unpaid child support, and while he remains in prison on his current sentence, he will accumulate even more debt that he is unable to pay. After his release, South Carolina's automated case processing machinery will issue another order to show cause. Turner's experience with the child support system is all too common. Other poor noncustodial fathers report similar dystopian experiences. Across…
This policy brief provides an overview of the Child Support system, the barriers Child Support creates for low-income families, and the policy changes needed for it to effectively meet the collective needs of very low-income fathers, mothers and children. Drawing upon Women In Fatherhood Inc.'s (WIFI's) qualitative research with women, research on fragile families, and interviews with female experts in the fatherhood field, we provide suggestions for changes to Child Support that will better ensure children are cared for and supported by both parents while encouraging father involvement and…
New York's Strengthening Families Through Stronger Fathers Initiative is an innovative approach to helping low-income fathers find work and pay child support. Enacted in 2006, the initiative offered a state earned income tax credit and job-oriented programs to noncustodial parents. Our evaluation shows that the approach worked-the tax credit increased work and child support compliance among those with low child support orders and the job-oriented programs increased participants' earnings and child support payments. These positive results suggest that further investments in this approach are…
As a service member, or spouse or former spouse of one, you have unique child support needs. All branches of the armed forces offer parenting programs and resources to strengthen military families. This handbook supplements those resources by providing information you might need regarding paternity establishment, child support, access/visitation, and child custody. First line supervisors and military commanders may also find this a handy addition to a leadership toolkit. (Author abstract)
This webinar provided ideas and resources to help responsible fatherhood practitioners understand and meet the needs of non-custodial fathers and their families. It featured an overview of federal, state and local policies, partnerships and initiatives; explained how fatherhood practitioners can partner with local child support offices; and generally explored strategies to help non-custodial fathers and their families. (Author abstract)
Spending positive time with both parents promotes child well-being and is associated with better child support outcomes. Unmarried parents do not have systematic access to assistance in establishing parenting time orders, so stateand local child support programs have sought to address this service gap. This fact sheet highlights states and countiesthat coordinate the establishment of child support orders and parenting time agreements. Family violence safeguardsare always a critical component when addressing parenting time. (Author abstract)
OCSE recently launched Parenting Time Opportunities for Children, a pilot program to give child support agencies grants to develop, implement, and evaluate procedures to establish parenting time orders along with new child support orders. The goal is to learn more about how the child support program can safely and effectively give families opportunities to establish parenting time orders, thereby improving child well-being overall and related child support outcomes. This fact sheet introduces OCSE's Parenting Time Opportunities for Children grantees. (Author abstract)
A father can acknowledge paternity by signing a written admission or voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. All states have programs that give unmarried parents the opportunity to acknowledge the father’s paternity of the newborn at the hospital. States must also help parents acknowledge paternity up until the child’s eighteenth birthday through vital records offices or other offices designated by the state. This resource walks through questions and answers that help guide fathers and father figures as they work to establish paternity.
All states have programs that give unmarried parents the opportunity to acknowledge the father’s paternity of the newborn at the hospital. States must also help parents acknowledge paternity up until the child’s eighteenth birthday through vital records offices or other offices designated by the state. Even if the parents plan to marry after their baby is born, establishing paternity helps to protect the relationship between the child and the father.
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Substantial declines in employment and earnings among disadvantaged men may be exacerbated by child support enforcement policies that are designed to help support families but may have the unintended consequence of discouraging fathers' employment. Disentangling causal effects is challenging because high child support debt may be both a cause and a consequence of unemployment and low child support order compliance. We used childbirth costs charged in unmarried mothers' Medicaid-covered childbirths, from Wisconsin administrative records, as an exogenous source of variation to identify the…