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A Preliminary Look at Client Experiences with the Good Cause Exemption to Child Support Cooperation Requirements  

Author:  Jessica  Pearson, Ph.D. .; Esther Ann  Griswold, M.A..

Source: Volume 02, Number 05, June/July 1997 , pp.65-69(5)

Domestic Violence Report

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Nonpayment of child support is a key cause of child poverty in America. Over 80% of all noncustodial fathers either pay no child support or less than 15 percent of their personal income for child support. Collection of child support is a vital component of welfare reform. To increase child support collection, welfare agencies will hold applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (i.e., the program replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)), to strict child support cooperation standards. To avoid severe reductions in benefits, each mother will be required to provide the name of the father of her children and other identifying information for the purpose of establishing paternity and pursuing child support. The law leaves it up to states to define several key issues: what constitutes cooperation; what constitutes good cause for exemption from pursuing child support; what constitutes noncooperation; the penalty for noncooperation; and which agency should make the good cause determination. This article studies the experience of several victims in Denver, CO.

Keywords: low incidence of good cause requests; Denver County (CO)

Affiliations:  1: Center for Policy Research; 2: Center for Policy Research.

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