Talk:Child support in the United States

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Wrong Title[edit]

The article deals with current child support law in the United States. An article on child support in the United States (rather than a more limited one on current law) would necessarily include a broader discussion and a broader range of sources. Even one on child support law in the US (rather than current law) would need a broader perspective. An easy example - an historical perspective of child support law in the US would include commentary on the shift from rational decision making in courts (children's needs and parents relative ability to pay) to arbitrary political decisions made by legislatures; the current system; and the shift from family issues in the rhelm of constitutionally protected individual rights to social policy. These were radical and sudden changes pushed by special interest groups, including custodial mothers and collection agencies. Instead, the history presented in the article limits itself in a way that gives could give the impression that current child support law arose from a perfectly rational, rather natural evolutionary process. Rogerfgay 11:42, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

What is the article about?[edit]

Pardon me for providing my own second opinion - after further consideration, I don't even think this article covers current child support law in the United States. It gives a very limited perspective which I speculate is strongly related to a special understanding of a limited set of developments in the welfare system - then jumps around a bit. The different child support guideline models are not properly explained; nor as I pointed out above, is there any discussion on the extreme contraversy surrounding federal reforms. Rogerfgay 11:51, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


This article is limited to the special sub-topic Child Support Policy in the United States, and does not have sufficient depth to cover the more basic topic of "child support" in the United States. A similar move option discussion is provided on the talk page of topic, currently titled Child support.

I note that very similar material related to government child support policies in other countries is covered under titles that refer to government agencies, their legislative origin and services. In the US, this would refer - at the federal level - to the Office of Child Support Enforcment in the Department of Health and Human Services. Rogerfgay 11:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
The Office of Child Support Enforcement was created by federal legislation in 1975. All of the information covered in the current article is related to federalization, federal legislation, and state cooperative action related to the efforts of OCSE. State cooperative action is often handled with guidance and participation in the policy / legislation area of the state branches which are federally funded. Even when other organizations are involved (legislation, state cooperation, etc), OCSE and state agencies are charged with implementation and enforcement. Rogerfgay 12:39, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

The article also spends much effort on URESA. This might be committed to a separate article. But I would also point out, that the remainder of the article does not seem to have much direction or purpose, but provides some contentious opinions regarding the purpose of current child support law, etc. It may be that the history of URESA is the only portion of the article worth saving. Rogerfgay 12:54, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

proposed merge[edit]

It has been proposed that some of the material contained in the topic currently titled Child support should be merged with this article. Rogerfgay 10:53, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Again, to incorporate material from one article to another, you don't need to merge them officially. You just edit in the material you want to cross over.DanielEng 04:02, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm just being courteous Daniel. I have not previously worked on either article, and think the authors who have worked on them should have the first opportunity to deal with such major changes. Rogerfgay 10:10, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

District of Columbia[edit]

This section contains unsupported opinion that contradicts scholarly assessment of child support guidelines and even an opinion by the DC Court of Appeals in Fitzgerald v Fitzgerald [1990]. The court found guidelines inconsistent with established child support law which was based on the needs of children and relative ability of parents to pay and that the guidelines were established arbitrarily and on faulty assumptions. This is also the view expressed by independent scholars. More on specific background can be found in a short article: and in the longer article: which contains a specific reference to the DC case. Rogerfgay 10:08, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


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WikiProject icon A version of this article was copyedited by lfstevens, a member of the Guild of Copy Editors, on March 27, 2011. The Guild welcomes all editors with a good grasp of English and Wikipedia's policies and guidelines to help in the drive to improve articles. Visit our project page if you're interested in joining! If you have questions, please direct them to our talk page.

After editing this, my comments are:

  • Overly focused on legal issues. Many parts read as if someone cut/pasted a law review article. That's now what WP wants to be.
  • After the article achieves better balance, it should probably be split, given its scope.
  • Other relevant topics include how disputes affect families, average payments, trends, statistical data about delinquencies and gender balance; how many kids/families get support
  • the absence of refs is woeful
Lfstevens (talk) 07:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)