Caroline Bryson, Bryson Purdon Social Research
Ira Mark Ellman, Arizona State University
Stephen McKay, University of Lincoln
Joanna Miles, University of Cambridge
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 3,248 randomly chosen members of the British public were asked to stae, 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.
The full version of this article appears in the October 2013 issue of Family Law.
News, updates and case reports covering every area of family law
News, updates and case reports covering every area of family law and practiceMore Info »
Exhibiting at the Family Law Awards will allow you to position your organisation at the forefront of the legal market.
Click 'More Info' below to view a short film about our exhibition opportunities.
To discuss your requirements further please contact us on 0117 918 1419 or email firstname.lastname@example.org