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Fathers and child support

Noncustodial fathers in Illinois and around the country who fail to pay to child support regularly tend to spend less time with their children, have a higher likelihood of having offspring with multiple partners and may work fewer weeks per year. This is according to a study that evaluated the link between paternal participation and child support debt.

Noncustodial parents in the U.S. paid $32.4 billion in child support through the Office of Child Support Enforcement to aid in the upbringing and care of their children in 2015. Typically, the parents who do not reside with their children are required to make payments to the parents who do. There are criminal and civil penalties that parents can incur if they fail to make their child support payments on time. This can include the suspension, restriction or revocation of their driver's license or passports, tax return interceptions and wage garnishments. Toward the end of 2016, the attorney general's office in Texas began preventing the renewal of vehicle registrations for delinquent parents.

The study used data from a survey of 4,897 families who resided in urban areas and had children who were born between 1998 and 2000. The parents of newborns were interviewed at 75 hospitals in 20 states shortly after the births and then again one, three, five and nine years afterwards. The focus of the data pertained to paternal involvement and child support when the children were 9 years old.

Delinquent child support can be devastating to both the child and the custodial parent. People who are having trouble collecting what they are owed may want to meet with an attorney to see the types of more aggressive enforcement measures might be available.

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