Abstract

This article provides national estimates of the current and potential impact of private child support transfers on the economic well-being of custodial and noncustodial families following marital dissolution. Mothers and children fare dramatically worse than fathers after marital dissolution; these differences, however, would be much more pronounced in the absence of private child support. Simulations of four existing child support guidelines show that substantial increases in economic well-being among mother-custody families are possible within the structure of the existing child support system, with minimal impact on poverty among nonresident fathers. Under all of these guidelines, however, custodial-mother families would continue to fare substantially worse than nonresident fathers.

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