For an economic and sociological perspective on child support, check out the following article:
Why Imbedded Alimony in Child Support Causes Perverse Behaviors – http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-261242
This we all know about:
There is an economic incentive for one of the parents to have sole custody and exclude the other parent from the child’s upbringing. Parents are now more likely to fight for sole custody at the expense of the best interests of the children. For example, it is standard practice for an attorney to warn a sole custody parent to limit contact between the child and the other parent or risk a reduction in child support award.
If child support was set at a realistic level, a parent would be, at worst, economically indifferent as to whether the other parent saw the child.
In fact, to the extent that the other parent taking care of the child decreases the custodial parent’s burden, the behavior of increased participation would be encouraged. This incentive is particularly disturbing in light of a significant body of research that show that the children of divorce who adjust best are those in which both parents are involved in rearing the children.
But here’s another very interesting point:
Under the current child support system, having a child is an economic benefit regardless of marital status. Further, there is an proportionally greater incentive to have children from multiple fathers since child support schedules award the greatest percentage of child support award to gross income for one child. In other words, a custodial parent receives more money when she has two children with different fathers than if she has two children from the same father. This has a three pronged effect- it discourages marriage, it marginalizes the father’s inherent value to a family, and it promotes a “fractured family” model as the norm.
So what is the perversity involved here? “Fractured family”