Noncustodial Parents’ Impact on Children

November 12, 2021

How do NCPs’ financial and relational involvement impact children?

Financial Involvement

  • NCP’s financial involvement can benefit the child in various ways. Child support payments are related to the child’s school achievement, fewer behavior problems, and a lower likelihood of child maltreatment investigations. However, 2/3rds of NCPS do not pay formal child support because they are in poverty.
  • Low-income fathers pay a much higher percentage of their income for child support compared to middle and high-income fathers. As a result, they could fall into insurmountable debt. Incarcerating fathers for failing to pay child support could negatively impact their children by increasing fathers’ debt and creating another barrier to relational involvement.


Relational Involvement

  • NCPs, especially fathers, involvement extends beyond financial support. For example, fathers can be more involved by having more contact and time with the child, increasing closeness with the child, and having responsibility for the child’s care and behaviors. When this happens, children are more likely to do better in school, have increased social and emotional well-being, exhibit less more emotional and behavioral control, and less adolescent delinquency.
  • Informing NCPs of their parental rights may encourage them to be more involved with their children (e.g., child visitations), encouraging them to spend time with child, and support co-parenting relations around birth.
  • For more detailed information on studies investigating how father’s involvement impacts child well-being see Sylvester and Kathleen’s (2002) report, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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