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Family Law

Child support

2011

Selected Works

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Questioning Child Support Enforcement For Poor Families, Leslie J. Harris Jan 2011

Questioning Child Support Enforcement For Poor Families, Leslie J. Harris

Leslie J. Harris

American law and culture have always assumed that providing for children economically is a private obligation, ordinarily belonging to the parents. The principal was given real teeth in 1975, when Congress enacted the federal-state child support enforcement program. The legislation's two related goals were to reduce childhood poverty and to reduce the welfare rolls. The goals were linked by the assumption that childhood poverty is largely attributable to the failure of absent parents (overwhelmingly fathers) to pay their fair share of child support, even though they are able to do so. Federal welfare policy originally assumed that custodial mothers would …