Poverty Common Among Families Denied Child Support

One-third of kids whose parents fail to pay child support are living in poverty, according to a Census Bureau report.

Association for Children for Enforcement of Support President Geraldine Jensen commented on the findings, saying “Nonpayment of child support is a crime that causes poverty in America.” Jensen also stated her belief that welfare reforms has put even more children in danger of poverty.

About 32 percent of custodial parents who were denied child support lived below the poverty line. Twenty-two percent of parents who received at least partial payments of child support lived in poverty.

The Census Bureau also found that women still make up the large majority of custodial parents, at 85%. Only four of every 10 custodial parents received all the child support they were due.

Poor, unmarried, and minority mothers were less likely than other women to receive full or partial child support parents. The report indicated that poverty among non-paying parents is at least a partial explanation for their non-payment, and that parents who have partial custody or visitation agreements were more likely than those who did not to pay child support.


AP - April 23, 1999

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