How is Child Support Enforcement Affecting Low Income Black Community?


Parents are responsible for providing a good life to their children regardless of their marital status. Even if the couple has divorced each other, they should still fulfill the responsibilities of their children. According to different states, it is both a parent’s income and ability to pay for their child’s needs.

However, if one parent refuses to pay for their children’s needs, child support can be difficult. Therefore, the couple must agree on how much they should pay for their children. Similarly, if they are unable to pay the required amount, the court intervenes in the situation.

There are many factors involved in child support such as the needs of the child, the needs of the guardian, the standard of the child’s housing and the ability to pay the rent. If the parent does not reimburse the child support, they are violating their vested duties.

Similarly, if one parent is not fulfilling the agreement, the other parent can enforce the issue. However, studies show that black people mostly earn lower incomes, labor markets, face discrimination, and have fewer social networks. All of these situations can lead to their inability to pay for child support.

The following are reasons that show how child support enforcement is harming the black community. Most of the reasons are related to the low income of non-custodial black parents, making them unable to pay for children.

Child support rates can be higher for low-income parents.

Child support rates can be higher for low-income parents.

A judge can determine the amount of child support according to the parent’s income. But if a parent cannot pay the specified amount, he accrues a loan, which is known as arrears.

This loan can have a negative impact on parents with low or low income as they will face the most significant percentage of the outstanding balance. Child support loans grow at an interest rate of 12 percent and are not redeemable even if the parents are insolvent.

If the custodial family receives TANF assistance, it cannot receive full child support payments in most states. That part or all of the payments go to the government for welfare reimbursement purposes.

Research shows that California’s child support system owes about 70 percent of child support loans to governments. The government pays money for the TANF benefits received by the detained family.

Child Support Enforcement Methods Can Be a Nightmare for Parents and Their Ability to Save Money

Child Support Enforcement Methods Can Be a Nightmare for Parents and Their Ability to Save Money

Child support enforcement agencies use various enforcement methods to collect child support amounts. These factors can include up to 65% of the non-custodial parent’s total income, a lien on the parent’s property, suspension of a driver’s license, and denial of other professional licenses.

These enforcement methods can become a nightmare and threat to the non-custodial parent and their ability to earn enough money to support their family.

In case of failure to pay child support, the parents may face imprisonment.
In states such as California, if a non-custodial parent is late in paying child support for only a few days, they will be dishonored by the court. In that case he will have to go to jail. There is not much data available on how many people go to jail because of failure to pay child support.

However, studies show that this problem is very important. A 2005 survey conducted in Southern California shows that one in eight inmates was in prison because they could not pay for their child support.

In addition, when the father is in prison, he cannot work and earn money. As a result, they become unable to save money to support their child. In addition, they may not be able to suspend or adjust child support orders, which will further increase their debt.
Research from child support enforcement agencies shows that most incarcerated parents across the country have past outstanding child support.

Parental debt and incarceration can harm children

Parental debt and incarceration can harm children

Various child support enforcement methods put low-income parents in financial insecurity. In addition, the policies threaten them to maintain their employment to collect property and money for their children.

Another disadvantage of these support enforcement rules is that they leave the lives of their children to fathers. In addition, they cause long-lasting economic and social consequences to parents. Some studies show that if the father is in prison and unable to pay, families accumulate money, which drains more resources.

How should the state reform child enforcement?

The purpose of child support is to meet the needs of children living with the custodial parent. However, they should make sure that they are also accounting for the needs of the other parent.

However, it is a positive fact that advocates and scholars keep on suggesting solutions to the state so that the child support system can be reformed. These recommendations can also help non-custodial parents stay in their children’s lives by paying for their needs.

Child support amount should be as per father’s income

Child support amount should be as per father's income

A state must have a straightforward and transparent process when adjusting child support orders when a parent’s income changes. Studies show that when child support fees were set at 20 percent or less of total income, fathers were more likely to pay the amount. These types of realistic commands encourage engagement of parents in the lives of their children.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement Shouldn’t Jail Unemployed and Poor Parents

Parents who are already unemployed and poor cannot repay the loan if they are in jail. Therefore, experts recommend that states withhold incarceration when parents cannot pay for child support.

Existing state-owned child support loans must be forgiven

It allows families receiving TANF to receive all child support. Further, the payment does not direct the government for reimbursement.

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