Chapter 5: The Colombian child support system: A hybrid approach in a challenging social and economic context
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Colombian custodial parents, largely single mothers, work and care for their children in a challenging context: unpaid care work is disproportionately borne by women and access to childcare, quality jobs, and social welfare programs is limited. Noncustodial parents’ monetary contributions to their nonresident children may play a key role in the wellbeing of custodial-parent families. We examine the Colombian child support system using prior research and new empirical evidence from our analysis of the Colombian Quality of Life Survey. Between 1997 and 2016, families eligible for child support increased from 32 per cent to 42 per cent. While parents have several options to make a child support arrangement, only 1 in 4 custodial-mother families receive child support. Individual socioeconomic disadvantage and characteristics of the child support system may be contributing to the low rate of child support receipt. Policymakers and scholars could partner in designing and implementing interventions to better serve this population.

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