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Full-Time Father or “Deadbeat Dad”? Does the Growth in Father Placement Explain the Declining Share of Divorced Custodial Parents with a Child Support Order?

Despite substantial policy attention, the proportion of custodial parents due child support is falling. One potential explanation is that there are more cases in which children live at least part of the time with each parent, and these cases are less likely to have orders. We use data on over 6,000 divorces in Wisconsin, differentiating between early cases (1996 to 1998) and later cases (2004 to 2007). We find that controlling for placement arrangements explains some (but not all) of the difference in the likelihood of an order between the early and later period.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Custody & Placement, Economic Support, Means-Tested Programs, WI Administrative Data Core


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