Start Smart: Using Behavioral Strategies to Increase Initial Child Support Payments in Texas

Mary Farrell and Carly Morrison
April 2019

As a recipient of the Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) grant, the Texas Office of the Attorney General implemented a project designed to increase the number of child support payments made during the first three months after order entry. For most cases, it takes about this amount of time for income withholding to take effect. The research team identified behavioral bottlenecks in the current process. Behavioral bottlenecks are the points where parents and employees may face psychological and behavioral propensities that get in the way of the parent making a payment. Then, the team put in place an intervention based on behavioral science to address the bottlenecks. The report addresses the specific intervention and the outcomes.