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Child Support and Visitation

An examination of the self-support reserve

In 2005 the Family Court Study Subcommittee of the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee examined the child support guidelines.  During the review, the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families advocated for an increase in the self-support reserve based on the rationale that when non-custodial parents are able to meet their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing, they are more likely to meet their child support obligations.   In 2005 the self-support reserve was $500 per month which was 73% of the federal poverty guidelines and had been set in 1999.  In order to present a fair recommendation to the subcommittee, The Center requested Clemson University's Strom Thurmond Institute and Jim Self Center for the Future to examine the economic conditions, the federal poverty guidelines, basic living expenses and other states' guidelines for the purpose of preparing a written briefing for the subcommittee.  The information compiled and the advocacy generated by The Center resulted in an increase in the self-support reserve from $500 to $748 per month in the 2006 guidelines. 

To read the entire brief, POVERTY AND THE COST OF LIVING:

INCOME ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH SOUTH CAROLINA'S

SELF SUPPORT RESERVE FOR NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS (pdf)

The Critical Partnership: Child Support Enforcement and Fatherhood

When child support enforcement agencies and fatherhood programs become trusted partners children are the greatest beneficiaries. Everyone wins.  An over-all reduction in operational costs occurs including: court costs, incarceration costs, and Child Support Enforcement (CSED) staff involvement. At the same time custodial parents experience an up-swing in hopefulness buoyed by consistent receipt of child support payments and contributing non-custodial fathers cease to elude parental responsibility because they become better payers and feel better about themselves as men and fathers. Most importantly, children experience the involved and responsible fathers that they deserve.
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