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Child support

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Product Description

By Bruce M Smyth

Published: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-921348-83-9
Pages: ii+94



Editor: Bruce M Smyth, Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, The Australian National University

Child support (or 'child maintenance') is the payment that non-resident parents (mostly fathers) make towards the costs of raising their children after parental separation. In Australia, pursuant to s.66C(1) of the Family Law Act 1975, parents have a 'primary duty' to maintain their children. For the past two decades, the Australian Child Support Scheme has buttressed this moral and legislative mandate.

The complexity of child support policy and its intersection with other areas of policy is a challenge for even the most expert in the area. The five research papers in this special issue of Journal of Family Studies certainly give the flavour of some of these challenges. To facilitate uptake of this special issue in library collections, and its possible use as an advanced course reader, it has also been released with an ISBN (978-1-921348-83-9).

The power of these papers as a thematic set is that they identify both ongoing and emerging challenges to contemporary child support policy: the need to balance 'adequacy' and 'equity' when reforming child support policy; the potential benefits of providing support to those former couples who would like to discuss more creative childresponsive approaches to child support and post separation parenting issues; and the potential importance of gender, race/ethnicity, and housing to child support policy. While the papers in this issue help to further our understanding of important aspects of this controversial and ever-complex area of social policy, they also highlight many gaps in our knowledge as we stand in the first decade of the 21st century. Looking back over our shoulders, it can be easy to forget that it was not that long ago that most children of separated parents in Australia received very little, if any, financial support. While child support policy has come a long way since then, the challenge for the future is to ensure that it continues to adapt and work in the best interests of children amidst the ever-increasing complexity of families and post separation parenting.

Table of Contents

Guest Editorial: Child support: Ongoing and emerging challenges
Bruce M Smyth

The distributional and financial impacts of the new Australian Child Support Scheme: A 'before and day-after reform' comparison of assessed liability
Bruce M Smyth, Paul Henman

Beyond the formula: Where can parents go to discuss child support together?
Lawrie Moloney, Bruce M Smyth, Kim Fraser

Race differences among noncustodial fathers noncompliant in child support: Involvement and self-perceptions of fathering
Robert Walker, Caroline E Reid, TK Logan

Merged or omitted? What we know (or don't) about separated mothers who pay or should pay child support in Australia
Maria Vnuk

The implications of child support for housing after relationship dissolution
Maggie Walter, Belinda Hewitt, Kristin Natalier, Maryann Wulff, Margaret Reynolds

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