Increasingly, parents in separated families expect to equally share care of their children post-separation. In this article we extend a well-known family policy model to generate hypotheses about the level of child support to be paid by separated parents when children live primarily with their mother (‘sole custody’) in contrast to when children spend equal time with both parents (‘shared care’). We test these hypotheses with data collected from 13 countries. In sole custody cases, countries with an earner-carer policy model do have lower child support expectations than countries with a traditional family policy model or a market-oriented model, as predicted. Countries with a traditional family policy model do have the highest orders in the shared case, as predicted. However, there is as much variation within models as there is between, suggesting new analytic frameworks for considering child support in family policy need to be developed.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s), 2021.
- child support, child maintenance, shared care, shared physical custody, family policy, comparative studies