Research Report Transforming Child Support into a Family-Building System
Heather Hahn, Kathryn Edin, Lauren Abrahams
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Child support is a vital tool for providing income to children living in poverty. For families living in poverty who receive child support, it makes up 41 percent of their income on average. But the system can be punitive, requiring noncustodial parents—typically fathers—with low earnings to pay unrealistically high levels of support and driving a wedge between coparents and children. But promising reforms are under way. We propose an ambitious, three-point strategy to complete the transformation of the child support system into a truly family-building institution.

Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Families Social safety net Race and equity Children and youth
Tags Families with low incomes Poverty Economic well-being Racial and ethnic disparities Child support Family structure Child welfare Father involvement Mobility Parenting Inequality and mobility Racial barriers to accessing the safety net