Keeping Mum: Characteristics and Family Dynamics of Mothers Who Are Liable to Pay Child Support in Australia
In recent decades, changes in post?separation parenting arrangements in Australia have led to an increase in the small but significant group of mothers liable to pay child support to fathers. The present study uses data from the Child Support Reform Study, a national random sample of separated parents in Australia registered with the Child Support Agency (CSA) in 2008. In total, 185 mothers with a child support liability were identified. Drawing on reports from separated mothers and fathers liable to pay child support in 2008, the study found that 43% of liable mothers had shared or more time. Few liable mothers reported spending no time with their child in the previous 12 months. Unlike liable fathers, mothers with a child support liability tended to be more ‘fearful’ of their former partner; have a resident child in their household; work fewer hours in paid employment; and have older children. Liable mothers were also more likely than other separated mothers to describe the relationship with their former partner as ‘fearful.’ Gendered expectations of parenting mean that liable mothers and liable fathers may adopt different behavioural responses to their roles. The implications of these findings for family therapists are briefly discussed.
SOURCE: Maria Vnuk. “Keeping Mum: Characteristics and Family Dynamics of Mothers Who Are Liable to Pay Child Support in Australia.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 09 March 2019.
Link to full text (Open access @ 02 August 2019)
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