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The Effect of Joint-Child-Custody Legislation on the Child-Support Receipt of Single Mothers

Author

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  • Allen, Brandeanna
  • Nunley, John
  • Seals, Alan

Abstract

Due to the preponderance of single mothers on public assistance, delinquent child support has been a contentious political issue in the U.S. for over 30 years. We examine whether joint-child-custody reform affects the child- support receipt of single mothers. We use variation in the timing of joint-custody reforms across states to identify the effect of joint custody on the child-support receipt of single mothers. Joint-custody enactment raises the probability of receiving child support for all single mothers by six percent. However, the effect on all single mothers is driven by the effect on divorced mothers since separated and never-married mothers are unaffected by joint-custody reform. We conclude joint-custody reform confers the most benefit on divorced mothers and their children, particularly those who do not receive public assistance.

Suggested Citation

  • Allen, Brandeanna & Nunley, John & Seals, Alan, 2008. "The Effect of Joint-Child-Custody Legislation on the Child-Support Receipt of Single Mothers," MPRA Paper 16316, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16316
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elaina Rose & Ho-Po Crystal Wong, 2014. "But Who Will Get Billy? The Effect of Child Custody Laws on Marriage," Working Papers 14-30, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    2. Nunley, John M. & Seals Jr., Richard Alan, 2011. "Child-custody reform, marital investment in children, and the labor supply of married mothers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 14-24, January.
    3. repec:eee:cysrev:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:547-557 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. René Böheim & Mario Francesconi & Martin Halla, 2012. "Does custody law affect family behavior in and out of marriage?," Economics working papers 2012-12, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Rose, Elaina & Wong, Crystal (Ho Po), 2014. "But Who Will Get Billy? The Effect of Child Custody Laws on Marriage," IZA Discussion Papers 8611, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Benjamin Foster, 2011. "Norms and Costs of Government Domestic Violence Policies: A Critical Review," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 140-151, March.
    7. Daniela Vuri, 2016. "Joint custody laws and mother's welfare: Evidence from the US," CEIS Research Paper 380, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 27 May 2016.
    8. Cécile Bourreau-Dubois & Myriam Doriat-Duban & Jean-Claude Ray, 2014. "Child support order: how do judges decide without guidelines? Evidence from France," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 431-452, December.
    9. de Blasio, Guido & Vuri, Daniela, 2013. "Joint Custody in the Italian Courts," IZA Discussion Papers 7472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.
    11. Sandra Hofferth & Angela Pinzon, 2011. "Do Nonresidential Fathers’ Financial Support and Contact Improve Children’s Health?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 280-295, June.
    12. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9282-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Andrew Hussey & Debjani Kanjilal & Anil Nathan, 2016. "Disruption in Parental Co-habitation and its Effects on Short-Term, Medium-Term, and Long-Term Outcomes of Adolescents," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 58-74, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child support; joint custody; child-custody laws; child-support enforcement;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General

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