This paper by the Urban Institute describes the important role that child support has in bringing income to poor families with children. In 2007, child support represented, on average, 40% of poor families' income, up from 29% in 1997. In addition to improved child support collection efforts, one reason for this increase is that poor families are less like to be on TANF, which influences how much child support goes to the family instead of the government (to recover costs for providing welfare). These results highlight the potentially highly volatile financial situation many poor custodial families experience and the importance of child support to these families. Child support collection efforts may be further benefited by providing parents with relationship skills to maintain cooperative and amicable co-parenting relationships which are associated with greater child support compliance.
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Child Support Plays an Increasingly Important Role for Poor Custodial Families.