The Changing Role of Child Support among Never-Married Mothers
This paper documents the changing role of child support as an income source to never-married mothers during the 1990s. Data are drawn from multiple panels of the Current Population Survey. We find that child support receipt has increased among successive cohorts of never-married mothers, and that within cohorts, child support increases over the first years of a child’s life. Changes in child support have occurred in tandem with substantial changes in other income sources, notably declines in public assistance and gains in earnings. Despite recent gains, child support plays only a minor role in the income packages of never-married mothers.
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