Teenage Delinquency: The Role of Child Support Payments and Father’s Visitation

Document Type

Book Chapter


Economics (CMC)

Publication Date



This work is one chapter of a book investigating the fact that the delinquent payment of child support by non-custodial to custodial parents is a major problem throughout the United States. To many observers, the problem is one of ‘deadbeat dads’ – men who simply will not make the required payments. The solution has been to enforce payment by the imposition of increasingly stringent civil and criminal penalties. Despite these efforts, the percentage of single mothers receiving child support has changed very little over the past twenty-five years. The Law and Economics of Child Support Payments investigates why this is, and approaches the payment of child support as an economic problem.

To understand the issues involved, leading lawyers and economists examine various facets of the child support system from a law and economics perspective. They consider the incentives faced by both custodial and non-custodial parents, and search for policy actions that are more incentive-compatible for all participants. The assumptions underlying current child support guidelines are discussed, as are the ways in which child support payments affect family structure, teenage delinquency and income disparities between parents.


Please note this work is Chapter 9 of The Law and Economics of Child Support Payments, edited by William S. Comanor. ISBN: 9781843761211

The complete book is available for purchase through Edward Elgar Publishing at http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/bookentry_main.lasso?id=2850.

At the request of the publisher, this chapter is for private use only.

Rights Information

© 2004 Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.