Caseload Special Issues

In addition to providing an annual summary report of the child support caseload, we also occasionally focus on a particular issue or subpopulation of the active IV-D caseload, including for example, incarcerated obligors, arrears cases, and others.

Reports are free of charge and may be downloaded from this page.

Click here for Child Support Caseload Annual Updates.

Intercepts for Child Support Arrears: Who Benefited from Intercepted Economic Stimulus Payments?
(October 2021) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Logan Passarella


Obligors with child support debt had their economic stimulus payments, authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act,  intercepted. Those funds were distributed to custodians, the state in reimbursement of TANF expenditures, or both custodians and the state. In this report, we review the distributions of these intercepted stimulus payments, comparing custodians with a full distribution, a partial distribution, or no distribution. 

Intercepts for Child Support Arrears: Obligors Experiencing Intercepts of the First Economic Stimulus Payment
(May 2021) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Logan Passarella


Economic stimulus payments authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were intended to provide individuals and families with financial relief and encourage immediate spending. However, during this unprecedented global pandemic resulting in record-high national unemployment, parents with child support debts had their first stimulus payments intercepted. We examined obligors whose full stimulus of $1,200 for a single adult was intercepted. The purpose of this report is to determine to whom these intercepted payments were distributed and to review the financial circumstances of those who had their first stimulus payments intercepted.

Lifting Families out of Poverty: Child Support is an Effective Tool for Maryland’s Families
(August 2019) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Logan Passarella

  This report assesses child support’s role in poverty alleviation. We examine a sample of custodians in Maryland who were employed and received child support payments during a one-year period. After receiving child support, the percentage of families in both deep poverty and poverty was reduced by about half.

Child Support Cases Without Support Orders: Three-year Outcomes
(September 2017) Natalie Demyan & Letitia Logan Passarella

  This brief examines cases that do not have support orders, and the percentage of these cases has remained relatively stable—between 20% to 25% of the caseload. By examining cases without support orders over a three-year follow-up period, we found that three in five had closed, one in five had established support orders, and the last one-fifth remained open without support orders in place. This brief provides additional details about each of those three outcomes and compares TANF and non-TANF case outcomes.

Reasonable Child Support Orders: The Relationship between Income and Collections
(December 2014) ) Correne Saunders, Letitia Logan Passarella, & Catherine E. Born

  This report uses multivariate linear regression from a sample of 3,680 new child support orders to estimate the effect of high support orders relative to an obligor’s income—order-to-income ratio—on child support collections.

The Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program: Trends over Time
(November 2014) Lauren A. Hall & Letitia Logan Passarella

  The goals of this project were to document the trends of in-hospital paternity acknowledgments among nonmarital births between 2000 and 2012 and to determine how many of these children with an affidavit of parentage had a child support case with the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration.

Imputed Income among Noncustodial Parents: Characteristics and Payment Outcomes
(June 2014) Letitia Logan Passarella & Catherine Born

  The practice of imputing income to full-time minimum wage for unemployed or under-employed noncustodial parents (NCPs) does little to ensure that NCPs have the ability to pay their child support obligations and often results in low payment compliance and debt. In Maryland, fewer than one in ten NCPs had income imputed for the determination of current support obligations. While it was not a common statewide practice, a few jurisdictions had rates of imputed income as high as 33%. Additionally, those with imputed income had lower employment participation, lower earnings, and paid a substantially smaller portion of their child support obligation, compared to those whose actual earned income was used for the determination of child support.

Who Pays Child Support in Baltimore City? Noncustodial Parents’ Payment Compliance
(June 2014) Letitia Logan Passarella, & Catherine Born

  This report provides a profile of payment compliance among noncustodial parents (NCPs) with cases in Baltimore City. One-third of these NCPs paid over 75% of their current support obligation; on the other hand, over one-third paid nothing during the one-year study period. Similar to the statewide findings, NCPs who paid the least also earned the least and were expected to pay more than 50% of their earnings toward their current support. Most NCPs with a case in Baltimore City, paid between 15% and 30% of their earnings toward their current support obligation.

Who Pays Child Support? Noncustodial Parents’ Payment Compliance
(May 2014) Lauren Hall, Letitia Logan Passarella & Catherine Born

  This report provides a profile of noncustodial parents (NCPs) based on the percentage of current support they paid during a one-year period. It is important to note that the majority of NCPs paid something toward their support. However, the difference in employment and earnings between those who paid a small percentage and those who paid most of their support has clear implications for NCPs’ ability to pay. Specifically, those who paid the least also earned the least, but were expected to pay more than 50% of their earnings toward their current support. Most NCPs, regardless of their actual earnings, only paid between 20% and 30% of their income toward child support.

The Intersection of Incarceration & Child support: A snapshot of Maryland’s Case
(July 2005) Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Correne Saunders, Catherine E. Born

  The first in a series of studies on this topic, this report begins to provide information about the extent of the intersection or overlap between child support and incarceration in the state of Maryland.

Confronting Child Support Debt: A Baseline Profile of Maryland’s Arrears Caseloa
(June 2008) Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Correne Saunders, Catherine E. Born

  Today’s report is the first in a series of studies designed to provide, for the first time ever, a comprehensive, detailed exposition and data-driven understanding of the arrears phenomenon in Maryland.

Research Brief 01-04: Child Support Among Children in Former TANF Families
(August 2001)Shafali Srivastava, Pamela Caudill Ovwigho, Catherine E. Born

  This brief examines the role child support receipt may be able to play in enabling families to leave welfare, increase their incomes, and avoid recidivism or returns to welfare.