Abstract

This article explores the extent to which noncustodial fathers can pay child support by estimating the income of noncustodial fathers and coupling these estimates with simulations of alternative normative standards for how much absent parents should be expected to contribute to the costs of rearing their children. The study indicates that the amount that is currently paid in child support ($6.8 billion in 1983) is far below the amount that should be paid under the various standards—from $24 billion to $29 billion.

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