Low-income non-custodial fathers and child support enforcement: The policy of promoting fathering through financial obligation
The purpose of this study was to perform a secondary analysis on The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study's dataset of non-residential father involvement with their child during their five-year follow-up. Using child support status, reason for nonresidential status, relationship with mother, and income level as independent variables, this study examined group differences between fathers varying at these levels in terms of their perceptions of their roles as fathers, as well as the quantity and quality of time they spent with their children. The results revealed that fathers with legal child support agreements did not differ in their level of involvement with their child from fathers without formal legal child support agreements. Fathers' relationship with mother, income level, and reason for non-custodial status, however, revealed significant group differences suggesting that these may be more influential factors to father-child relationships than the existence of a formal child support agreement.