Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

The Failure of Child Support

Gendered systems of inaccessibility, inaction and irresponsibility

By Kay Cook

Published

Apr 1, 2022

Page count

184 pages

ISBN

978-1447348863

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Apr 1, 2022

Page count

184 pages

ISBN

978-1447348887

Dimensions

Imprint

Policy Press
The Failure of Child Support

Drawing on interviews with informants from a diverse range of 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Portugal, Norway, Peru, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Nigeria, this book examines how child support systems often fail to transfer payments from separated fathers to mothers and their children. It lays out how these systems are structured in ways that render them ineffective, while positioning women as responsible for their failures.

The book charts the demise of child support as a feminist intervention, resituating it as gendered governance practice that operates by making the system inaccessible, failing to deliver outcomes, and condoning fathers’ irresponsibility. It identifies how the gender order is entrenched through child support failure and offers possibilities for feminist reform.

Kay Cook is a Sociology Professor and Associate Dean Research in the School of Social Sciences, Media, Film and Education at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

Introduction

Child Support as Gendered Governance Practice

Child Support Regimes and Relevance

Divergent Views of Child Support Failures

Sites of Child Support Failure

The Interests Served by Failure

Rendering Gendered Social Problems Technical

The Gendered Offer of Personal Solutions

Conclusion