Child Support: The Effects of the Current System on Families

fis06_240x240Over the past 30 years, the percentage of children who live in single-parent households has approximately tripled. These children split about evenly between those living in a single-parent household because of divorce and those born outside of marriage. This demographic change is important to policymakers because today, unlike earlier this century, most children in single-parent households have another living parent who may be able to help pay for their expenses. Children in single-mother families are five times more likely to be poor than children in two-parent families. In 1993, about 66% of children of never-married mothers lived below the poverty line, compared with 38% of children of divorced mothers. This has spurred interest in how much child support nonresident parents, usually fathers, can afford to pay. This seminar examines the origins of Wisconsin’s child support system, how parents who live apart from their children divide childrearing responsibilities, and the economic and non-economic effects of these arrangements for children.

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Presentations

The Current Child Support System: Its Background and Rationale

by Marygold Melli
Voss-Bascom Professor of Law Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Applying the Current Child Support Standard in Family Court

by Kevin Van Kampen
Family Court Commissioner, Racine County

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The Economic Impact of Child Support on Families

by Daniel Meyer
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The Effect of Child Support on Children’s Well-Being

by Judith Seltzer
Professor of Sociology and Affiliate of the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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