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Satisfaction with Child Support Agency Services and Its Relationship to Child Support Payments

Qualitative research suggests that many noncustodial parents see the child support program as punitive, unfair, or uninterested in their situation. Noncustodial parents who feel the child support program is not “on their side” may not cooperate with the agency, perhaps contributing to lower payments. A lack of cooperation is also likely to affect agency performance; even if collections are eventually made, the increased time required by uncooperative parents could lower the ratio of collections to administrative costs, a key agency outcome. Finally, dissatisfaction with the agency could lead more directly to lower support payments if it decreases noncustodial parents’ motivation to pay. This report addresses three questions: (1) How widespread are feelings of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) among a larger sample of noncustodial parents? (2) What factors are associated with levels of satisfaction and dissatisfaction? And (3) do those who report more or less satisfaction pay more or less child support?


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Enforcement, Orders & Payments


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