Coparenting and Nonresident Fathers' Monetary Contributions to Their Children

Julia S. Goldberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison

A growing percentage of children in the United States live apart from their biological father. While nonresident fathers have the potential to greatly enrich children’s lives, we lack a clear understanding of the factors that encourage, or inhibit, these men from contributing to their children. The present study uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 1,451) to examine how coparenting—the degree to which parents are mutually supportive in raising their child—is related to nonresident fathers’ monetary contributions. Results indicate a strong positive association between coparenting and fathers’ formal and informal child support payments. Furthermore, the direction of this association appears to flow from coparenting to fathers’ payments rather than vice versa. These findings suggest that programs designed to teach parents how to work together to raise their child following the end of their relationship may be effective for increasing fathers’ monetary contributions to their children.

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Presented in Poster Session 5