Interstate Child Support:

Mothers Report Receiving Less Support From Out-Of-State Fathers

HRD-92-39FS: Published: Jan 9, 1992. Publicly Released: Jan 9, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared certain characteristics of interstate child support cases to in-state child support cases.

GAO found that: (1) in spring 1990, interstate child support cases represented at least 25 percent of all child support cases, in-state cases represented 64 percent of all cases, and the remaining 11 percent primarily represented cases where the noncustodial father's residence was unknown; (2) during 1989, 34 percent of mothers in interstate cases stated that they never received support payments, compared with 19 percent of those in state cases, and 43 percent of custodial mothers in interstate cases reported receiving regular support payments, compared with 60 percent of those in in-state cases; (3) most of the custodial mothers in the remaining 11 percent of child support cases reported that they did not have child support awards, receive payments, or know their children's noncustodial father's residence; (4) over 41 percent of all custodial mothers that did not have child support awards reported that they either did not want child support or did not pursue an award; (5) one-half to three-quarters of all custodial mothers who had support awards reported that the noncustodial father did not provide health insurance coverage for their children; (6) child support and custodial mothers' socioeconomic characteristics did not differ materially by noncustodial fathers' residence; (7) similar proportions of mothers in in-state, interstate, and other child support cases received public assistance and sought child support services they were entitled to under the Social Security Act; and (8) custodial mothers' income, education, and race did not differ materially by support case type.

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