Agenda for the 21st Century
Child Support Agenda for the 21st Century
Parents should have equal status by default
Partners should know about paternity
All children should have been accepted children
Eliminate sex discrimination from child support
There should be no Treasury saving or state compulsion
Child support should be formally awarded to the children
Use a formula to determine the amount
Have closer ties between child support administration and family courts
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly
Household benefits/credits should not be treated as income
Amounts should relate to spend on children, not wealth
Also - Exclusions from the Agenda for the 21st Century
Also - A method of judging proposals
Also - International Agenda for the 21st Century
Related topic - Can Child Support Agencies ever work?
Related topic - The 21st Century is making the reformed scheme obsolete
Home & weblog
Blog archive & site history
Site map & search

Child support should be formally awarded to the children

Under development


Child support should be formally awarded to the child, not to the parent with care. When the child is young, this only makes symbolic difference, but as the child gets older, it may bring to the surface what child support is REALLY for - goods & services for the benefit of the child. And the child may want someone other than the parent with care to provide these goods & services sometimes.

In most European countries, the child maintenance is awarded to the child. This applies to at least Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. In the Netherlands, the beneficiary is normally the parent with care for younger children, but older children may receive child maintenance in their own right.


One implication is psychological. If the award is to the child, some of the feeling that it is for spousal maintenance is reduced.

More importantly, it becomes clearer that "the money should follow the child", which has implications for the shared care cases.

It also opens up the debate about whether all the payment should be handed to the parent with care, or some of it should be placed in a trust fund for the child to have later. And it offers a more sensible approach for when the child is older, and/or perhaps away from home at boarding school or college.

It may even provide the opportunity for either the child or the non-resident parent to take legal action against a parent with care who demonstrably doesn't spend the money on the child.

Think what difference this would make to what NRPs think about the scheme, & legally-justified analysis of the formula.

If the government is NOT prepared to say that the money is awarded to the child - why not? What is their motive?


Change the law.


Relationship to other Agenda items
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly In principle, each parent is "absent" for part of the time. The principle is "the money should follow the child".
Other pages in this web site
The Beneficiary of Child Support This is the original description of this item.
Potential lobby groups
Families Need Fathers This was one of the proposals that FNF made to the Social Security Select Committee in 1999. See the FNF Memorandum submitted to the Committee.
Other relevant external links
Making child maintenance regimes work
Anne Corden
ISBN 1-901455-35-1

This is a book describing child support schemes in about 10 European countries including the UK, comparing them in textual & tabular form.

It includes information about European countries that formally award child support to the children.

Claimed reply to a CSA form:
"I do not know the name of the father of my little girl. She was conceived at a party [address and date given] where I had unprotected sex with a man I met that night. I do remember that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage to track down the father can you send me his phone number? Thanks."

Page last updated: 17 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003