A submission to The Joint Select Committee Inquiry on Certain Family Law Issues


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August 1983

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This Australian Institute of Family Studies submission to the Joint Select Committee Inquiry on Certain Family Law Issues concerns the Child Support Scheme (CSS). The Institute's submission is based on data from three Institute studies: the Economic Consequences of Marriage Breakdown (ECMB) study, the Child Support Scheme Evaluation Study (CSSE) and the Australian Living Standards Study (ALSS). The submission addressed: child support before the CSS, the CSS and achievements to date, the CSS formula and parents' standard of living, a model of the effects of the CSS formula, the costs of children, and the CSS regarding lost earnings and direct costs. The submission also comments on other issues including distinctions between property and child support, assets and income, privacy, child and spousal support, control and ownership of resources, the child as manager, stepparent responsibility, older children, access and maintenance and custody and gender. The submission recommends to the Inquiry that: the CSS be continued to ensure that non-resident parents share the financial support of their children and at adequate levels; and the CSS be extended to make it possible for parents who are not now covered by the Scheme to opt in.