The relation between welfare dependency and receipt of child support is investigated with data from a special supplement to the Current Population Survey. The impact of receiving child support on a family’s welfare status is estimated and the types of families for which child support enforcement policies may have the great est impact are identified. Overall, the results indicate that receipt of child support has a modest impact on reducing welfare dependency. However, the results also indicate that if child support obligations can be established and enforced shortly after a marital dissolution takes place, the likelihood that a family will later become a welfare recipient is significantly reduced.

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