Divorced Dads Shattering The Myths

Sanford L. Braver P.H.D. and

Diane O'Connel


Click Here for the Story on ABC News 20/20

televised on January 7, 2000...(ABC News Link and Page)

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Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 21:33:14 -0800 (PST)

From: acfclist@acfc.org (ACFC Website)

To: acfclist@svr2.marketrends.net

Subject: ACFC: Give "Dead-Broke Dads" A Break

Sender: acfclist@acfc.org

Precedence: bulk

Reply-To: acfclist@acfc.org

Status: U



Thanks to Frank Lindley for sending us the following.








National Center for Policy Analysis

Opinion: Give "Dead-Broke Dads" A Break

Daily Policy Digest

Welfare Issues / Child Support

Friday, February 22, 2002


The notion that "divorced or unmarried fathers make out like bandits,

leaving women and children in the dust," is based on faulty research, says

Cathy Young of Reason magazine.


In her 1985 book, "The Divorce Revolution," Lenore Weitzman claimed

women's standard of living drops 73 percent after divorce, while men's

rises 42 percent, based on a 1977 study. But that oft-quoted statistic was

subsequently debunked.


* In 1996 another scholar found a huge error in Weitzman's computations,

although the revised data still yielded a 10 percent increase in men's

living standards and a 27 percent decline in women's.


* But since 1977, women's earnings have risen and child support

collections have improved.


* Thus, in his 1999 book "Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths," Arizona

State University researcher Sanford Braver found that among typical

divorced couples with two children, both parents' living standards decline



In reality, most noncustodial fathers behind in their child support

payments are unemployed or unskilled laborers. But as the government has

ratcheted up child support enforcement, some impoverished fathers have

been jailed.


* One study found that among fathers with no employment problems, 5

percent paid nothing and 81 percent paid in full; among seasonal or

sometime unemployed workers, 45 percent paid in full and over a third paid



* Urban Institute scholar Elaine Sorensen has reported that only 4 percent

of fathers are able to get a judge to reduce their child support payments

when their earnings drop by more than 15 percent, and when they do, it

takes up to six months -- while arrearages mount.


President Bush wants payments by noncustodial fathers whose children are

on welfare to go directly to the family rather than a government

bureaucracy, believing the arrangement will help involve fathers in their

children's lives.


Source: Cathy Young (Reason magazine), "New look at 'deadbeat dads,'"

Boston Globe, February 11, 2002.


For text

http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/042/oped/New_look_at_deadbeat_dads_ +.shtml

[ --or--

http://reason.com/cy/cy021302.shtml ]


For more on Child Support



Copyright © 2002 National Center for Policy Analysis - All rights reserved.

NCPA Home: http://www.ncpa.org/


At NCPA, two excellent articles from 1996:


Dads Not So Dead-Beat


NCPA, Summer 96


Big Daddy / Can the feds support child support?


by Brian Doherty -- Reason, Jun 96


Children Need BOTH Parents!


The American Coalition for Fathers and Children


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