Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2321788
 


 



Child Maintenance: How Much Should the State Require Fathers to Pay When Families Separate?


Caroline Bryson


Bryson Purdon Social Research

Ira Mark Ellman


Arizona State University College of Law; Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology

Stephen McKay


University of Lincoln, UK

Jo Miles


University of Cambridge

June 15, 2013

Family Law, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Millions of British households are eligible to receive child maintenance from non-resident parents, but fewer than one-third receive payments regularly, and two-thirds receive nothing. Many would not be in poverty if they regularly received the appropriate maintenance payments. The government nonetheless plans to reduce the state's role in setting amounts and enforcing their payment.

This article reports on a comprehensive study of the British public's views on these issues, in which 3248 randomly chosen members of the British public were asked to state, in pounds, the amount of child maintenance they believed the law should require the father to pay for each of a series of families in different financial and family circumstances. The study found the public believes: 1) the state should set the amount of, and enforce, child maintenance payments; 2) amounts should be considerably higher than currently called for in the CSA formula, especially at higher paternal incomes; 3) fathers should pay a higher percentage of their income in child maintenance when either their income is more, or the mother's income is less, unlike the state formula that applies the same percentage to all fathers without regard to either parent's income; 4) even low-income parents should pay at least some child maintenance; and 5) the purpose of child support goes beyond ensuring the child has necessities, to also provide the child with amenities, when the father's income allows.

While there was some variation among population subgroups in the details, these five basic principles were favoured by both men and women, by those with more or less income or education, and without regard to the respondent's self-identified party affiliation.

This study was funded by the Nuffield Foundation in London and data was collected as part of the annual survey, British Social Attitudes, conducted by NatCen, the National Center for Social Research. The complete report can be downloaded at no cost from the NatCen website. An adapted version will eventually be published in the British journal Family Law. The study was based on comparable studies conducted by one of the authors in the United States.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: child support, child maintenance

JEL Classification: J12, K19, K39

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: September 8, 2013 ; Last revised: September 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Bryson, Caroline and Ellman, Ira Mark and McKay, Stephen and Miles, Jo, Child Maintenance: How Much Should the State Require Fathers to Pay When Families Separate? (June 15, 2013). Family Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2321788 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2321788

Contact Information

Caroline Bryson
Bryson Purdon Social Research ( email )
10 Etherow Street
London, SE22 0JY
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://bpsr.co.uk/
Ira Mark Ellman (Contact Author)
Arizona State University College of Law ( email )
Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States
480-965-2125 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.asu.edu/HomePages/Ellman/
Arizona State University (ASU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104
United States
Stephen McKay
University of Lincoln, UK ( email )
Brayford Pool
Lincoln, LN6 7TS
United Kingdom
+44 0 1522-886629 (Phone)
Jo Miles
University of Cambridge ( email )
10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 213
Downloads: 31

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo7 in 0.282 seconds