Children's Rights Coalition

Turning Children's Frowns Upside Down

P. O. Box 12961, Capitol Station : Austin, Texas 78711

March 1993

To: Persons interested in child support issues
From: Children's Rights Coalition
Re: GAO report — "Mothers Report Receiving ..."

This "fact sheet" was developed by the General Accounting Office for Senator Bill Bradley and Representatives Marge Roukema and Barbara Kennelly.

The date of publication is January 9, 1992 and the data is based on mother self-reporting. Children under age 21 living with their mothers are included in this data. Note that this data includes "children" who are 19 and 20 years of age.

Data on child support non-payment or lack of a child support award is categorized as to father's ability to pay and residence of father, as reported by the mothers.

Of those mothers who report that they had a child support award, were expecting payment, and did not receive payment (p. 19):

In cases where the father lives in the same state as the mother:

66% of the fathers did not pay because they were unable to pay, according to the mothers.

In cases where the father lives in a different state:

66% of the fathers did not pay because they were unable to pay, according to the mothers.

Of those mothers who report that there is no child support award (and, therefore, no child support is due from the father, or the father may not know of the existence of the child), based on the reports of the mothers (p. 19):

In cases where the father lives in the same state as the mother:

53% of the mothers report that they did not want support or did not ask for it, that other financial considerations were made in lieu of support, or that she was unable to establish paternity.

17% of the mothers report that the father is financially unable to pay (it is presumed that she or the intervening agency decided that the financial position of the father made pursuing an award a futile gesture).

6% of the mothers report that a final agreement is pending.

76% Therefore, 76% of the mothers who live in the same state as the father and who do not have a child support award report that child support collection is not an issue in their case.

In cases where the father lives in another state:

These figures are 49%, 12%, and 7% for a total of 68%.

Fathers who are classified as living in "other" locations include:

1) those in foreign countries,

* 2) those who have moved back in with the mother

Probable interview exchange:
"Is there a support award?" - "Yes" --- "Does he pay?" - "No" ---
"Where does he live?" - "He lives with me", and

* 3) those who are deceased

Probable interview exchange:
"Is there a support award?" - "Yes" --- "Does he pay?" - "No" ---
"Where does he live?" - "He is dead."

"None of these categories constituted more than 14% of the questionnaires reviewed." (p. 14)

So, potentially, 28% of fathers classified as living in "Other" locations could be either living with the mother or dead.

In each of the three categories, In-state, Interstate, and "Other" — there are responses which indicate that the mother does not know where to locate the father. Some of these mothers may be in violation of a court order and, therefore, reluctant to have the father located.


Men's Health Network
202-543-MHN-1 (6461)
info@menshealthnetwork.org

About MHN/ Coalition/ Goals/ Strategy/ Activity/ Initiatives/
Library/ Programs/ Home/ Men's Links/ MHN Board
Top of page