Wisconsin Representatives Gwen Moore (D) and Paul Ryan (R) introduced legislation on Monday that would ensure families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) receive the full amount of child support from the non-custodial parent. Currently, a portion of child support owed to the custodial parent goes to the government to pay for the administrative costs of the TANF program. Reps. Moore and Ryan’s legislation aims to encourage non-custodial parents to pay child support on time and in full because 100 percent would go to their children.
“Child support should do just that – support children, not the federal government. We want to see the total amount of child support payments get to the parents and children for whom they are intended,” Congressman Ryan said in a press conference on Monday.
Wisconsin had a statewide program identical to the one Reps. Ryan and Moore are proposing, but it was discontinued by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2005. The University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Research on Poverty supports the argument that giving 100 percent of TANF families’ child support to the custodial parent encourages non-custodial parents to pay child support on time and not to fall behind in payment, according to Congresswoman Moore. The changes in the program would take place beginning October 1, 2009, though participation in the program would be optional for states.