CHILD SUPPORT, ROUTINE INCOME WITHHOLDING, AND POST-DIVORCE INCOME
MARIEKA M. KLAWITTER
Policymakers are proposing child support reform as a way of reducing "welfare dependency" and countering the "feminization of poverty" while increasing the well-being of children living in single-parent households. The federal government and some states have begun to change laws regarding establishment of child support awards and collection of payments. The 1988 Family Support Act mandates routine income withholding of child support payments-i.e., collecting child support directly from the payer's paycheck. This article assesses the effects on post-divorce income by using data from a demonstration of routine withholding in ten Wisconsin counties. Unfortunately, these data conclude that routine income withholding has little effect on post-divorce income, at least in the year following divorce. The authors suggest three requirements for substantially increasing post-divorce income, as well as child support: (i) More family court cases must establish awards, (ii) The amount of those awards must be greater. (Hi) The collection rate for those who have awards must improve. Copyright 1992 Western Economic Association International.
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