This paper examines the relationships between several child support policies, paternity establishment, and child support award rates among never-married women. We use several state policies and practices in place throughout the 1980s to examine their effectiveness at increasing paternity establishment rates and at increasing the proportion of unmarried women who have child support awards. We also examine the direct relationship between paternity establishment rates and child support award rates. We estimate these relationships using a variety of specifications, using cross-state variation in child support enforcement to identify the effects of policies. To date, child support remains largely the province of state family law, and, although policies have changed dramatically in response to two decades of federal mandates, state laws and practices still vary.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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