Blog: Public views on child support of little surprise
by John Fotheringham, associate at bto solicitors
Throughout the many reforms of child support which we have seen since 1991 governments of different political colours have claimed that each reform has represented what the public would agree was the fair way of handling child support.
The Nuffield Foundation has just published a British Social Attitude Survey(Child Maintenance – how would the British public calculate what the State should require parents to pay?) of what the public really think about child support. Its findings may come as a surprise to some policy makers but not to many practitioners. In fact, it seems that the system which the public think would be fair looks rather like the good old Family Law (Scotland Act) 1985.
The researchers gave a number of vignettes to over 3,000 members of the British public describing separated families with different financial and family circumstances. The interviewees were then asked how much ought to be paid by the non-resident parent and why.
The public’s views are fully expressed in the research but perhaps the main points are:-
The main news from the survey is the British Public does not think that the present system is fair. One could wonder about the extent to which this is actually news.