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Non-custodial Parents

The role of child support debt on the development of mental health problems among nonresident fathers

Individual Author: 
Um, Hyunjoon

Using the first five waves of data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), this research examines whether nonresident fathers who owe child support arrears are at risk for the development of depression and alcohol abuse problems. To attenuate a potential omitted variable bias, I controlled for fathers’ previous mental health status by including a lagged dependent variable as a covariate. As a robustness check, I used an instrumental variable approach to correct for endogeneity and measurement error associated with mothers’ report of fathers’ child support arrears.

Reforming child support to improve outcomes for children and families

Individual Author: 
Turetsky, Vicki

Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support.

The child support debt bubble

Individual Author: 
Brito, Tonya L.

This article examines the widespread phenomenon of exorbitant child support debt owed by noncustodial fathers in no- and low-income and predominately Black families. Drawing from qualitative data—including a court-based ethnography and in-depth interviews with lawyers, litigants, and judges—this Article explores the inflated and arbitrary nature of the debt, detailing how states utilize family law rules, child support system practices, and court processes to construct burdensome child support arrears that many poor noncustodial fathers will never have the means to pay off.

Transforming Colorado’s child support services to a two-generation approach: Lessons learned from implementing an 11-county pilot study

Individual Author: 
Clemens, Elysia V.
Sheesley, Alison P.
Davis, Lanae

The Child Support Services Division of the Colorado Department of Human Services made a conscious decision to change its service delivery method from an enforcement approach to a two-generational (2Gen), family-centered approach. Eleven counties have participated in a pilot project, the 2Gen Child Support Services Transformation Project, to implement the 2Gen approach. This report summarizes the findings and lessons learned from the first eight months of the project.

Do low-income noncustodial fathers trade families? Economic contributions to children in multiple families

Individual Author: 
Berger, Lawrence M.
Cancian, Maria
Guarin, Angela
Meyer, Daniel R.

Little research exists on the contributions that noncustodial fathers make to children they have had in different families. We use baseline survey data from an intervention for noncustodial parents who are behind in their child support payments to examine formal and informal payments. We explore whether noncustodial fathers who have had children with multiple mothers provide any support to children from older relationships, and whether they provide less to these children than to children from their most recent relationship (their youngest nonresident child).

Final implementation findings from the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CPSED) evaluation

Individual Author: 
Cancian, Maria
Meyer, Daniel R.
Wood, Robert

The final implementation report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on January 15, 2019. It reflects demonstration activities that commenced in fall 2012, when the eight child support agencies competitvely awarded grants by OSCE to participate in CSPED began a one-year planning period, and concluded with the end of the demonstration period in September 2017. 

Characteristics of participants in the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) evaluation

Individual Author: 
Cancian, Maria
Guarin, Angela
Hodges, Leslie
Meyer, Daniel R.

The purpose of this report is to begin to fill in the blanks by documenting the characteristics of more than 10,000 noncustodial parents who participated in the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration program (CSPED).  The federally funded intervention was operated by child support agency grantees within eight eligible states, and served noncustodial parents who were behind on child support payments and experiencing employment difficulties. (Author introduction)

Final impact findings from the Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED)

Individual Author: 
Cancian, Maria
Meyer, Daniel R.
Wood, Robert G.

The final impact report on the National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED) was released on March 14, 2019. The primary goal of the intervention was to improve the reliable payment of child support in order to improve child well-being and avoid public costs. Key outcomes related to noncustodial parents' (1) child support orders, payments and compliance, as well as attitudes toward the child support program; (2) work and earnings; (3) sense of responsibility for their children.

A new response to child support noncompliance: Introducing the Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt project

Individual Author: 
Mage, Caroline
Baird, Peter
Miller, Cynthia

This study brief describes an alternative to the civil contempt process intended to increase engagement and consistent and reliable payments among noncompliant noncustodial parents. The Procedural Justice-Informed Alternatives to Contempt (PJAC) demonstration project was developed by OCSE to adapt and apply principles of procedural justice to child support compliance eforts. Procedural justice is also referred to as procedural fairness.