"Some of My Children Are Worth More Than Others": Perceptions of Nonresidential Fathers with Second Families as to the Fairness of the Australian Child Support Agency's Handling of First Family Child Support Financial Arrangements
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
One in three Australian marriages end in divorce, and over half of such divorces involve children. Research indicates that men tend to repartner within 1 to 2 years of a divorce and women within 3 to 5 years. A significant issue for repartnered men is the provision of financial support for children from both their first and second families. Although only 6% of all Australian first family children spend near/equal time (shared care) after divorce with both parents, fathers in Australia are mandated under child support legislation to provide financial support for their first family children, whether they reside with them or not. However, it is argued by this study's nonresidential fathers that the Child Support Agency, when considering the level of financial support for first family children, tends to overlook the needs of second family children, thus creating an advantaged and disadvantaged set of siblings. This finding is reviewed through a distributive justice theory lens. Finally, some future directions for research aimed at exploring the impact of Child Support Legislation on second families are suggested.