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Family Court Facts

A post by Ewalds D'Sylva

 

Data to Help Understand the Child Support Issue

An unbiased qualitative perspective on so-called deadbead dads is found in: Deadbeat Dads? Look Closer (Bureaucratic fiats on how much is owed don't tell the whole story). By Bruce Walker (Executive Coordinator at the District Attorney's Council in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.), The Christian Science Monitor, August 16, 1996.

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Contents
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1.   Basic Facts
2.   Who Pays Child Support ?
3.   Total Defaults on Child Support
4.   Most Defaulters are Unable to Pay
5.   Impact of Non-Payment
6.   Destruction of Fathers' Bonding with Family
7.   Consequences of Destruction of Fathers' Bonding with Family
8.   Fathers' Bonding with Family and Child Support Default Rate
9. 	Miscellaneous
10. 	Acknowledgment
1. Basic Facts

In 1991, there were:

9.9 million custodial mothers

1.6 million custodial fathers

11.5 million custodial parents

-- Statistical Abstracts of the U.S.1995; U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

Child Support Ordered in 1991 from mothers and fathers:

$17,7 billion child support ordered

$11,9 billion child support paid

$ 5.8 billion unpaid support

-- Population Profile of the United States 1995; U.S. Department of Commerce.

2. Who Pays Child Support?

90% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due.

79% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due.

45% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due.

-- 1988 Census "Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series P-60, No. 173 p.6-7. and U.S. General Accounting Office Report" GAO/HRD-92-39FS January, 1992.

Texas fathers comply with 95.8% of non-AFDC child support ordered.

-- Health and Human Services, (15th. Annual Report to Congress).

Between 80 and 100 percent of due child support was paid voluntarily by divorced fathers who are fully employed.

-- Braver, Fitzpatrick, and Bay, 1988.

3. Total Defaults on Child Support

47% or 1.3 million non-custodial mothers totally default on support.

27% or 3.0 million non-custodial fathers totally default on support.

--Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 - U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services - Office of Income Security Policy.

4. Most Defaulters are Unable to Pay

7.6% or 750,000 of fathers ordered to pay child support are incarcerated.

-- US Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Correctional Populations in the United States, 1994."

6% or 600,000 of fathers ordered to pay child support are dead.

-- Health and Human Services, (15th. Annual Report to Congress).

(The above adjustments would reduce the number of fathers who totally default, from 3 million to 1.7 million.)

66% of non-compliance with child support orders is due to unemployment or underemployment.

-- Health and Human Services, (15th. Annual Report to Congress).

66% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to inability to pay.

-- 1988 Census "Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series P-60, No. 173 p.6-7. and U.S. General Accounting Office Report" GAO/HRD-92-39FS January, 1992.

Gay Erwin, Mr. Morales' Executive assistant, said the problem in collecting child support is that it is "difficult to get blood from a turnip." In many cases the father is in prison, unemployed, or as yet unidentified, she said.

-- Dallas Morning News August 16, 1996.

5. Impact of Non-Payment

"Even if the full amount of child support had been received, it would have had little impact on the poverty statuses of custodial mothers and fathers."

-- Lydia Scoon- Rodgers, Income Statistics Branch (301) 763-8576

Source: Population Profile of the United States 1995; U.S. Department of Commerce, March 1996.

6. Destruction of Fathers' Bonding to Family

Only half of divorced mothers value the absent father's continued contact with his children.

Twenty percent of divorced mothers saw no value in the continued contact between a father and his children whatsoever, and tried to sabotage visits and meetings by sending the children away unexpectedly just before the visit, by insisting the children are ill or had pressing homework to do, by making an emotional or angry scene, or by simply disappearing.

- J. Wallerstein and Joan Kelly, "Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce," 1990.

40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the father's visitation to punish their ex-husband.

-- "Frequency of Visitation...." by Stanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

7. Consequences of Destruction of Fathers' Bonding to Family

63% of youth suicides are from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access

-- U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census.

90% of all homeless and runaway children are from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access.

85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access.

-- Center for Disease Control.

80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access.

-- Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26.

71% of all high school dropouts come from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access.

-- National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.

70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access

-- U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988.

85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access.

-- Fulton County Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992.

In summary, children from homes where the biological father is denied visitation and access are:

5 times more likely to commit suicide

32 times more likely to run away

20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders

14 times more likely to commit rape

9 times more likely to drop out of school

10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances

9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution

20 times more likely to end up in prison.

8. Fathers' Bonding with Family and Child Support Default Rate

90% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due.

79% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due.

45% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due.

-- 1988 Census "Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series P-60, No. 173 p.6-7. and U.S. General Accounting Office Report" GAO/HRD-92-39FS January,1992.

9. Miscellaneous

The Census Bureau finds that women who are heads of households have a net worth that is 141% of the net worth of men who are heads of households.

-- U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstracts of the U.S. (as of 1992), 109th.. Edition, p. 459, table 747 - Household Net Worth.

10. Acknowledgment

The Source of these data is:

The Advocate

Executive Director advocate@flash.net

The UTOPIA Foundation http://www.flash.net/~badger/


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