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Child Support Quiz [USA]

Subject:  ACFC: Child Support Quiz
   Date:  Wed, 6 Sep 2000 23:07:57 -0700 (PDT)
   From:  acfclist@usa.net (ACFC Website)
     To:  acfclist@svr2.marketrends.net

Thanks to Roger F. Gay for sending us the following.



1. Non-custodial parents pay what percentage of their court ordered child support?

a. 20 %
b. 40 %
c. 70 %
d. more than 70 %

Your Answer:

2. What increase in the percentage above has been recorded since the beginning of the federal crackdown enforcement efforts in 1975?

a. 0 %
b. 20 %
c. 50 %

Your Answer:

3. How much is spent on the federal child support enforcement program each year?

a. $100 million
b. $1 billion
c. $4 billion

Your Answer:

4. How many employees are there nationally in the child support enforcement program?

a. 1,000
b. 20,000
c. 50,000
d. more than 50,000

Your Answer:

5. The federal government spent approximately what amount to develop a computer tracking system for the child support enforcement system?

a. $500
b. $10,000
c. $4 million
d. $4 billion

Your Answer:

6. What part of the population will be registered in the child support enforcement system?

a. only "deadbeat dads"
b. all divorced and never married parents
c. all adults who hold jobs
d. everyone

Your Answer:


1. (c,d) The only federal agency that estimates the "compliance rate" for all child support orders in the US is the Census Bureau. Their official estimate is 70 percent. However, the estimate comes from a (Census) survey of recipients. Surveys of payers consistently produce much higher results. (See also US Bureau of the Census child support data and note that when you examine the figures based on such biased reporting, it is clear, they indicate that the compliance rates in the 1991 - 95 interval actually dropped, in spite or perhaps because of the draconian measures that are now in place)

2. (a) The only change in the estimated compliance rate for all cases resulted from a change in the details used in the census survey. One major problem with the program is that there has been no systematic test against a valid baseline to evaluate program results.

3. (c) Federal and state matching funds add up to $4 billion of the taxpayers' money each year.

4. (d) More than 50,000 -- see next answers.

5. (d) The federal government has spent a staggering $4 billion developing a computer tracking system; probably at least 1,000 times the amount a large private company would spend on a similar system if an off the shelf solution was not available.

6. (c) The current target group for initial registrations is all newly hired employees. That is expected to continue, which will eventually include everyone with a job. There is of course an option to enter people into the system who do not hold jobs as well. The "new hire" approach simply collects the largest number of entries at the expense of employers.

Are you being used in the drive to increase government power and bureaucracy at the expense of sanity and human rights?


6 right -- specialist expert
3 right -- awake and not easy to fool
1 right -- you're educated by the mass media
0 right -- member of both NOW and ACES



B1. The need for a federal child support enforcement program arises because men frequently abandon their wives and children and refuse to support them.

YES ____ NO ____

B2. Child support award amounts needed to be increased because they were insufficient in the past. 

YES ____ NO ____

B3. Divorced and never married women are typically much poorer than the fathers.

YES ____ NO ____

The correct answers to all three bonus questions are no. 

Women initiate divorce more than men at a ratio of at least 8:2. (That appears to hold true in all developed nation. See also "Who files for divorce?" —WHS) Research shows that the reasons they abandon the fathers of their children rarely involve unbearable circumstances. Most often, they just feel like they want a change. Studies at hospitals show that most non-married fathers show up for the birth and often accompany mothers for prenatal check-ups. 
   Researchers have observed caring relationships and a strong desire on the part of  fathers to be involved.

The myth that child support awards were insufficient in the past is related to an unstated change in the purpose of child support among advocates for increases. The new version of "child support" is intended to provide for the mother at least as much as for the child. Arguments over the size of child support awards have also become confused with false claims about the percent of the amount awarded that is paid; and thus, advocates have argued for stronger enforcement measures in relation to their desire to have a higher amount ordered by courts. A good example is the current claim by advocates that only 40 percent is paid of the amount owed. They mean (among other things) that they want the size of awards doubled to include even more financial support for mothers. The actual compliance rate is between 70 and 80 percent. 

[Sanford Braver, in "Divorced Dads – Shattering the Myths," reports that the average compliance rate as reported by custodial mothers is 68% and as reported by non-custodial fathers is 84% (Table 2.4, p.32), but, even more astonishingly, that when fathers have reasonable child access, they "want to pay voluntarily [original emphasis].  Coercion, punishment, garnishment are not normally needed at all." (p. 197; "The Message to Policymakers," 1st par., 2nd sentence) Furthermore, he reports that under those circumstances the compliance rate with child support payments is 93% (as reported by fathers) and 89% by mothers' reports (p. 194, Table 9.4) — with any of the remaining outstanding amounts being most often due to the fathers' inability to pay due to reason of being unemployed, incarcerated, in hospital, disabled or crippled, or even being dead. —WHS]

Poor mothers are more often paired with poor fathers. Women's income has risen sufficiently in past decades to bring middle class women more on par with their middle class husbands. Systematic research has shown that current child support payments make divorced mothers better off financially than they would have been if they had remained married to the father of their children. This effect is amplified when a mother remarries and thereby also benefits from the income of a new spouse.

Children Need BOTH Parents!

The American Coalition for Fathers and Children

For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS or see ACFC's homepages at: http://www.acfc.org

To subscribe send a message to:  acfclist@usa.net
Message in subject line: subscribe acfc

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The ACFC List Serve provides timely information to fathers, second wives, and others seeking restoration of fatherhood in America and the world.  ACFC does not endorse or approve the views or opinions expressed by contributors, which have been provided only as a service to our list serve subscribers.

Posted 2000 00 07
2001 01 29 (format changes)
2001 08 02 (format changes)