Social History Of Child Support In Us

5678 words - 23 pages


A key component of welfare reform involves changes in the assumptions about human behavior which are embedded in social policies. Policy assumptions have been transformed from forcing a belief that social service providers act as guardians, to a stance in which all participants are regarded as self-seeking cons. These ideas are particularly pertinent to policy developments concerning financial obligations for children, and this paper examines these issues in relation to child support policy in the US. It highlights the evident and inevitable failure of this policy to meet its primary stated aim of revenue generation. In the US this ...view middle of the document...

This paper will explain why this study is significant by providing astounding details about how this system is used and abused. This paper also provides insight into solutions to fixing the issues which highlights the benefit of this research and the reason why this topic is so important.
The main players are the parents who are divorced and no longer living together, and the children.(The children also have a stake in whether child support is paid, but we have omitted their interests in this process since they typically do not have explicit legal rights.). Parents are then broken down into custodial and non-custodial. The mother, usually the custodial parent because the children live with her, receives the support, while that father, usually the non-custodial parent, pays the support. So both the mom and dad have a part in the payment of support. Next is the federal government. During the past two decades the court system has been the liaison as it relates to support, leaving room for more active participation from state and local governments.
During the past 20 years, child support reform has dramatically altered the way in which enforcement of child support and the initiation of an order are created. Prior to 1975, child support policy was dictated largely by family law in each state and enforced by the court system. As such, the child support enforcement process was “complaint driven.” In other words, in order to establish legal paternity, to obtain a child support order, or to collect upon an existing order that was not being paid, a custodial parent had to hire an attorney, file a complaint, and go to court.
During the early part of the nineteenth century, the American court system have an influx of cases that dealt primarily with marital breakdowns and divorce, and from these cases it was evident that the laws at that time had no plan for support actions as it related to the welfare and care of the children involved. Many of the American laws were inherited from English laws that were made in the early nineteenth century; with most of the laws stating that non-enforceable duty was the only responsibility that the father would be held accountable for as it related to the care of the children. As a matter of fact during that time allowing a third party to recover funds and support was forbidden, and could only be allowed if a pre-authorized contract had been put in place with the father. On the contrary in certain cases, on a case by case basis the recovery of support was approved, but not likely. The Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601 authorized the local parishes to recover some of the funds that were spent in caring for a single mother and her children who were not provided for by the children’s father (Chambers, 1989).
However, this law would only be used if the children and mother were completely impoverished. In addition, the Elizabethan Poor Law allowed the town to recoup their relief costs. Mothers and third parties were not allowed...

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