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Child Support and Alimony: 1981

Written by:
Report Number P23-140


The high divorce rate and increases in the number of families maintained by women with no husbands present have resulted in greater demands from both public and private concerns for information on the economic condition of women and children involved in divorce and separation.1 The Bureau's first survey specifically designed to obtain data on child support and alimony was conducted in the spring of 1979, under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce. The results of this survey were presented in Current Population Reports, Series P-23, No. 112, Child Support and Alimony: 1978. The survey,2 with minor modifications, was conducted again in the spring of 1982 by the Department of Commerce, sponsored in part by the Office of Child Support Enforcement, Department of Health and Human Services.

This report presents information as of spring 1982 on payments made to mothers for the support of their children by fathers not living in the same household, and information on support payments and property settlement awards for women involved in marital dissolution.

1 See, for example, text of House Congressional Record No. 9980, November 16, 1983.
2 For a comparison of the 1982 and 1979 surveys, see “Changes in the Survey.” For a discussion of survey design and processing procedures, see “Brief Description of the Survey."

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

Page Last Revised - October 28, 2021
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