International history of child support
History of child support across the world
History of child support in the UK
History of child support in the USA
History of child support in some mainly-English-speaking countries
History of child support in some (non-UK) European countries
Comparisons across some mainly-English-speaking countries
Comparisons across some European countries
Child support systems across the world
Reciprocal arrangements with other countries
The cost of children in other nations
Can Child Support Agencies ever work?
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Comparisons across some mainly-English-speaking countries

This page is being evolved as part of a long-term project. I ask anyone with useful material to get in touch at: history@childsupportanalysis.co.uk .

What this page shows is the independence between these states of the way they have implemented child support. The USA in particular is pursuing a very different line, apparently uninfluenced (since the 18th Century) by external treaties and conventions and experience in other nations.

When? Australia Canada New Zealand UK (and earlier) USA
1601       An Acte for the Reliefe of the Poore Perhaps the territories which became the USA inherited the English Poor Laws.
19th Century   Constitution Act 1867:
Judges of the Superior, District and County Courts in each Province must be appointed. The Supreme Court of Canada has established that there are certain functions of the judiciary that cannot be removed from that decision-making forum. This appears to include aspects of family law.
  The parish has the power to recover from the putative father the cost of maintenance of a bastard child. The invention of a legally enforceable child support obligation by American courts.
1935         Aid for Dependent Child program (AFDC)
World War 2 (1939 - 1945)
1950         Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA)
1974-1975       United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance Social Security Amendments of 1974 (Public Law 93-647):
This established the basis of the CSES.
1980       Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Relating to Maintenance Obligations  
1982   UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women      
1983 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women        
1984        

Child Support Amendments of 1984 (Public Law 98-378):
(Mandated guidelines to be used in an advisory capacity).

1985 United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance   UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women    
1986     United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women  
1988 Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988       1988 Family Support Act (Public Law 100-485):
Implemented a national Child Support Enforcement System based upon the uniform application of a State-developed formula.
1989 Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989        
1991 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Child Support Act 1991 Child Support Act 1991  
1992     Child Support scheme starts UN Convention on the Rights of the Child  
1993     UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Creation of the Child Support Agency  
1994     Child Support Review 1994: Report of the Working Party. (Trapski Report.).    
Child Support Amendment Act 1994 commences
1995       Child Support Act 1995  
1996        

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (Public Law 104-193): each State must operate a CSE Program meeting Federal requirements in order to be eligible for TANF funds (which replaced AFDC).

1997   Divorce Act (Bill C-41) commences      
2000       Child Support, Pensions, and Social Security Act 2000  
2002 Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Relating to Maintenance Obligations        
Present day
In progress: 2002?         UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
2003?       Reformed CSA (by the 2000 Act)  
No intentions         Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions Relating to Maintenance Obligations
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance
When? Australia Canada New Zealand UK (and earlier) USA
Page last updated: 18 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003