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What is the history of child support?

Many people in Illinois deal with the child support system. You may receive or pay child support due to a divorce or other situation where both parents are not in the home. There are many different situations today where child support is ordered, but today’s situations are much different than how things were when the system was put into place in the mid-1970s.

The child support system was formally put in place in 1975 under Gerald Ford’s presidency, according to NPR. It was strictly designed for divorced parents because there were hardly any situations where children were born outside of marriage. The main goal was to help prevent mothers from falling into financial trouble. In those days, if you were a mother, you usually had physical custody. If you were a father, you could expect to be ordered to pay support so the mothers could create a home life for the children that was the same as if you were still together.

In the 1980s, the typical family unit began to change. There were more cases where children were being born outside of a marriage. In addition, women’s roles changed, and many now worked outside the home, which impacted the dynamics of their financial situations and child support.

Change has continued with the average family being nothing like it was in the 1970s when child support was first established. Today, there is a large balance of unpaid child support. This has led to states imposing penalties if you fail to pay your court-ordered support payment. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.

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