Title

Economic Inequities In Child Support: The Role Of Gender

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-1-2012

Publication Title

Journal Of Divorce & Remarriage

Department

Economics

Abstract

Despite their increasing numbers, divorced families with a noncustodial mother and a custodial father have received scant research attention. Our study attempts to provide some initial insight into the economic status of these families. Examining the child support obligation, we find that noncustodial mothers face a much smaller award than noncustodial fathers, both in terms of the absolute dollar amount of the award and as a percentage of the obligor’s income. This potential inequity, however, is offset by the fact that—despite the relatively lower child support obligation—noncustodial mothers experience a larger decline in their standard of living than do custodial fathers and their children. Thus although previous research has found that custodial mothers bear the brunt of familial dissolution, this conclusion does not apply to custodial fathers. Rather, mothers—regardless of custodial status—fare more poorly than fathers.

Volume

53

Issue

5

pp.

329-347

ISSN

1050-2556