The international scene
Child support systems across the world
Objectives of child support across nations & centuries
Links to international sources about child support
Links to special interest groups worldwide
Declarations, treaties, conventions, etc
Clues about child maintenance in some Muslim cultures
PICSLT - Project for the Improvement of Child Support Litigation Technology
International conspiracy theories
History of child support 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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Child support systems across the world

There are various names for these payments, even in English: "child maintenance", "child support", "child alimony", and in the UK "child support maintenance"! To add to the confusion, sometimes the term "child support" is used to include all forms of support, including state support, and some people want to include "care" in the term.

The topic here is the regular financial support by liable relatives, normally the parents, for the raising of their children.

Why do countries operate child support systems?

This is a matter that needs to be deduced from the history. But time after time the answer always appears to be for one or both of the following objectives. Everything else is just detail.

  1. To reduce child poverty.
  2. To reduce welfare spending

The history project

A history of child support in many countries across a number of centuries is being developed here. Many countries are being examined individually. Some countries are being compared with one-another in tabular format.

Building up a picture of the history of child maintenance / child support across many countries in the world is a long term project. Rather than wait until it is completed before publishing any results, the intention is to publish the "work in progress" as part of new editions of this web site, for the first of each month. So the pages in this topic will gradually be filled out with extra dates, more information and references, and eventually more analysis.

I ask anyone with useful material to get in touch at: .

Conspiracy theories

There are theories that child support systems are part of some international conspiracy.

There is no international conspiracy. There are simply many countries across the world trying, in their own various ways, to reduce child poverty while keeping their welfare budgets under control. They've been trying to achieve this for centuries, changing their methods under different society & economic & political (and technical) pressures, and no doubt they will continue to try.

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