Who is Not Paying Child Support?

Maria Cancian, Yoona Kim, and Daniel R. Meyer, Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison
September 2021

The reasons behind noncompliance with a child support order are many and varied. This report updates existing research on the reasons for nonpayment of current support using a data sample drawn from 21 counties in Wisconsin. The report considers how changes in the order amount, employment status, and incarceration negatively affect a parent’s ability to pay support. The tools available to enforce child support orders, such as income withholding and the receipt of information from new hire reporting, won’t be effective for these parents. Other services will be necessary to help them meet their obligations.