For years now, I've been wondering as my state has implemented nearly mandatory child support guidelines that seem very generous to the custodial parent vis-a-vis the noncustodial parent.
I've heard the complaints of women who've received nothing for years.
I've heard the complaints of men who say they cannot earn enough to satisfy these payments and who have been jailed for not paying.
Now a column on the subject has appeared by the arch-conservative lawyer Phyllis Schlafly. I have had some stark disagreements with Phyllis over the years; but I have to give her credit where it is due. The column is titled "Welfare reform meets the law of unintended consequences;" and it offers some knowledgeable legal explanations for what's been going on. Here's an excerpt:
The Great Society welfare system was recognized by the 1990s as a social disaster that created fatherless children, illegitimacy and women's dependency on government. Channeling taxpayer handouts to mothers provided a powerful financial incentive for fathers to depart; they were not needed anymore.Read the rest of her column to see how this works.
Unfortunately, policy changes in the 1988 and 1996 welfare laws created similar financial incentives for state governments to exclude middle-class fathers from the home. The law incentivized the states to manufacture "noncustodial" (i.e., absent) fathers and to order money transfers (usually through wage garnishment) to mothers, thereby putting a large segment of the middle class under the welfare bureaucrats.