The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Child support

In family law and government policy, child support or child maintenance is the ongoing obligation for a periodic payment made directly or indirectly by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent, caregiver or guardian, or the government, for the care and support of children of a relationship or marriage that has been terminated. Single parents, usually mothers, who receive TANF are required to cooperate with the state's collection of child support from the absent parent.  A portion of the child support income is passed through from the state to the TANF recipient, but the state keeps the remainder to cover some of the costs of providing TANF.  The policy requiring TANF recipients to cooperate with child support collection can be waived in cases of domestic violence.

Have not received child support in one whole year and when I do receive the check it's twenty -two dollars. What I'm I supposed to do with that?

I’m gonna be real with my daughter. Being as though my daughter lives in the hood,  I’m gonna be straightforward to her. When she gets old enough to understand what’s going on around her, I want her to understand where mommy coming from. I’m gonna tell her about everything. I’m gonna tell her about the drug gang. I’m gonna tell her about everything, because if you don’t teach your child then the streets will, and if you let the streets teach them then they’re gonna turn them out, they’re gonna destroy them.

"Misunderstood by many, loved by enough. I stand on my own two feet like a grown woman. Single mother of one and barely making it but never struggling."

-Excerpt from a poem by Whitney


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