Separated Families and Child Support Policies in Times of Social Change: A Comparative Analysis

Christine Skinner, Mia Hakovirta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Child support policies aim to ensure separated parents continue to pay for the upkeep of their children until they reach adulthood. This is a laudable aim, often related to alleviating poverty in single parent families following relationship breakdown. There is a long policy history of this in most Western countries, but the institutional and operational challenges are considerable as policies try to keep pace with changes in family relationships, household structures, and gendered patterns of employment and childcare. Tracking changes in parents’ earning and caring responsibilities therefore matter in determining child support liabilities. The question is, how well are child support systems doing in adapting to social changes and norms of gender equality? To answer that, this chapter presents an analysis of the latest data from a comparative study of 15 countries using national informants’ accounts of the key policy principles and operational features of their child support systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy
EditorsRense Nieuwenhuis, Wim Van Lancker
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9783030546182
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

First Draft sent to editors 14th May 2019

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