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Study links parental relationship with late child support

A study has shown a relationship between late child support and the time non-custodial fathers spend with their children. According to the study, fathers who are late on their child support on average spend less time with their children than those who pay on time. As many Berks County families have experienced, many fathers do not live with their children and most have to pay child support to the custodial parents.

The study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, also showed that the same non-custodial parents who are late with their child support payments also tend to work less and have children with different partners. The study followed 4,897 families with children born between 1998 and 2000 for 9 years and focused on a sample of 1,017 fathers who did not live with their children.

As the study revealed, the parents who were late on child support were also less involved in their children's life, seeing their children, on average, three days less on a monthly basis. They also provided less material support, such as clothing, toys and necessities like medicine and spent less time with their children in activities such as doing homework and playing.

There are, of course, consequences for parents who are late with child support. Their driver's and professional licenses can be revoked, restricted or suspended. Other sanctions could include wage garnishments, tax refund interceptions and in some cases incarceration. Parents who are having trouble collecting what they are owed may want to have legal assistance when returning to the court that issued the order and seeking to have it enforced.

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