Child Support: How Much Is Just Right?

Ira Ellman, Ellman Tara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The provision of financial support for children when their parents divorce is a highly contentious and complicated problem. This chapter challenges the conventional policy used to generate child support guidelines. Offering a superior alternative to child support, it designs a set of guidelines that rest on a principled and systematic method which incorporates the three distinct purposes of support orders: to protect the well-being of the child, to enforce the normative understanding that both parents have a support obligation, and to limit the disparity that might otherwise rise between the child's living standard and the higher living standard of the non-custodial household. The principles underlying this policy approach not only generate guidelines that weigh the basic considerations for a fair and decent arrangement, they also address the thorny issues that arise from the increasing situation of blended families which contain both child support obligors and recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRaising Children
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging Needs, Modern Risks, and Social Responses
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199865284
ISBN (Print)9780195310122
StatePublished - Apr 10 2008


  • Child well-being
  • Custodial parent
  • Dual-obligation
  • Earner's priority
  • Income shares
  • Remarriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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