Child Support Guidelines Less than Ideal

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A University of Calgary Study Finds Child Support Guidelines Are Based On False Assumptions And Contain Significant Amount Of Spousal Support

Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA) – Calgary

Calgary – A new study of the Canadian Child Support Guidelines suggests they are less than ideal. The research was undertaken at the University of Calgary and recently published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society.

The study, co-authored by Paul Millar a Ph.D. student in sociology at the University of Calgary and Professor Anne H. Gauthier, found that the guidelines are unlikely to make significant improvements in child poverty and are based on false assumptions. The guidelines produce awards that contain significant amounts of spousal support as well as child support. According to the study, the large amounts of uncollected child support, despite punitive collection methods, are related to problems built into the guidelines. The guidelines do not easily allow for changes in circumstance of the non-custodial parent, and can be inappropriate when ordered. The study contends that the guidelines produce too many inequities and unfairly target poor and working class families.

The guidelines, as implemented, produce too many inequitable outcomes and don’t provide a way for these problems to easily be corrected. Canadians deserve better,” Mr. Millar says.

The study traced the development of the Canadian Child Support Guidelines and found that mistaken beliefs and special interest groups led the government to ignore key research findings. The study shows that child support represents a major initiative by the government to privatize social benefits.

The Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA) is alarmed at the unnecessary destruction of relationships important to children. The finding of the study should be a guide to the government to improve the child support guidelines to treat both parents fairly and to guarantee a positive outcome for their children,” says Gus Sleiman president of MESA.

MESA Tel: (403) 228-6366, E-mail:

Note: The study is not available at MESA’s web site. A copy of the study can be obtained by purchasing the Journal of Law and Society. The Journal should be available at most libraries. Ask for it!!

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