BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new report recommends a number of changes to Maryland’s child support policies the author says will help increase compliance while reducing inequities that primarily affect low-income families.

The report from the Baltimore-based Abell Foundation looked at 20 years of research from the University of Maryland and others and found child support orders for many low-income parents who don’t have primary custody of their kids were “unrealistically high” and “unnecessarily punitive.”

The author noted those inequities significantly impact low-income African-American fathers and their children.

The report recommends setting child support orders based on a parent’s actual ability to pay, reducing¬† child support debt that can’t be collected and ensuring children, not the state, get the money.

Among the other findings were that practices like taking away a non-compliant parent’s driver’s license are ineffective and hurt the parent’s ability to get a job to support their children.

Comments (3)
  1. Terri Mullikin says:

    It doesn’t matter what changes are made when the child support orders are not enforced. The father of my grandchildren works…. My daughter receives sporadic payments. He does not file tax returns, since the would not receive a refund- the refund would go towards his back support.

  2. Brenda Johnson says:

    I never understand suspending their license thereby taking away their means of transportation to get to work. Nor locking them up and thereby losing the source of employment. None of those policies works toward getting child support payments, but those payments compound against the absent parent and cause a vicious cycle of the child not benefiting

  3. D-rell Prevost says:

    I’ve been paying child support myself for years. The system is severely flawed, the math behind it needs to be corrected. I’ve calculated my paycheck and after taxes and child support my take home pay is 26% of my net pay. I’m basically paying my ex’es mortgage but can’t pay my own, figure that one out.

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