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Underhållsstödet - familjepolitikens albatross. 1997 års underhållsstödsreform och dess betydelse för de bidragsskyldiga föräldrarna

Persson, Marcus LU (2002)
Abstract
A new law regarding child-maintenance was issued in Sweden in 1997. The main purpose of the reform was to make the system more cost-efficient, in order to minimise government expenditure. This was done by advocating a more individualised economic responsibility, as well as new rules for how to calculate maintenance levels.



Almost five years later it is clear that the economic goals have not been achieved. The government has not saved any money. On the contrary, the non-resident parents’ debt to the government is constantly increasing. With stricter child support enforcements, the law also forced many (30%) non-resident parents into debt. In other words, the result of the reform has been a strained economic situation,... (More)
A new law regarding child-maintenance was issued in Sweden in 1997. The main purpose of the reform was to make the system more cost-efficient, in order to minimise government expenditure. This was done by advocating a more individualised economic responsibility, as well as new rules for how to calculate maintenance levels.



Almost five years later it is clear that the economic goals have not been achieved. The government has not saved any money. On the contrary, the non-resident parents’ debt to the government is constantly increasing. With stricter child support enforcements, the law also forced many (30%) non-resident parents into debt. In other words, the result of the reform has been a strained economic situation, especially for low-income households.



Previous research of single parents has almost exclusively focused on the resident parent – in most cases the mother. In this study we have focused on the other party – the non-resident parents, who pay child-support, and their economic as well as their social situation.



Our analysis, which is based on 600 questionnaires and 17 in-depth interviews, indicates that stricter child support enforcements do not lead to greater individual responsibility, nor does it lead to more frequent and better relations between non-resident parent and child. On the contrary, the system seems to economically trap the parents with the lowest incomes into situations of chronic debt, making relations between parent and child more difficult.



Another tendency we have encountered in relation to the stricter child support enforcement of 1997 is that a poor economic status has a negative effect on the ability to build new families. This in turn can lead to fewer children being born. In sum, stricter child support enforcement affects the poorest and the most vulnerable people in society the most – the very same people the system is supposed to help.



The new law has proven to be an inflexible and rigid system that in many ways still excludes the non-resident parent from family life with his/her children. In addition, the law makes it almost impossible for people with weak economies to shoulder their economic responsibility for their children. (Less)
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author
supervisor
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
sociology, sociologi, child support, child support enforcement, child-maintenance, family policy, non-resident parent, sense of coherence, social policy
pages
192 pages
publisher
Bokbox förlag
ISBN
91-86980-27-0
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
f0c970c9-9085-4832-8780-20aa9720cdd4 (old id 619652)
date added to LUP
2007-12-20 10:08:43
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:07
@misc{f0c970c9-9085-4832-8780-20aa9720cdd4,
  abstract     = {A new law regarding child-maintenance was issued in Sweden in 1997. The main purpose of the reform was to make the system more cost-efficient, in order to minimise government expenditure. This was done by advocating a more individualised economic responsibility, as well as new rules for how to calculate maintenance levels. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Almost five years later it is clear that the economic goals have not been achieved. The government has not saved any money. On the contrary, the non-resident parents’ debt to the government is constantly increasing. With stricter child support enforcements, the law also forced many (30%) non-resident parents into debt. In other words, the result of the reform has been a strained economic situation, especially for low-income households. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Previous research of single parents has almost exclusively focused on the resident parent – in most cases the mother. In this study we have focused on the other party – the non-resident parents, who pay child-support, and their economic as well as their social situation. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Our analysis, which is based on 600 questionnaires and 17 in-depth interviews, indicates that stricter child support enforcements do not lead to greater individual responsibility, nor does it lead to more frequent and better relations between non-resident parent and child. On the contrary, the system seems to economically trap the parents with the lowest incomes into situations of chronic debt, making relations between parent and child more difficult. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Another tendency we have encountered in relation to the stricter child support enforcement of 1997 is that a poor economic status has a negative effect on the ability to build new families. This in turn can lead to fewer children being born. In sum, stricter child support enforcement affects the poorest and the most vulnerable people in society the most – the very same people the system is supposed to help. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
The new law has proven to be an inflexible and rigid system that in many ways still excludes the non-resident parent from family life with his/her children. In addition, the law makes it almost impossible for people with weak economies to shoulder their economic responsibility for their children.},
  author       = {Persson, Marcus},
  isbn         = {91-86980-27-0},
  keyword      = {sociology,sociologi,child support,child support enforcement,child-maintenance,family policy,non-resident parent,sense of coherence,social policy},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Licentiate Thesis},
  pages        = {192},
  publisher    = {Bokbox förlag},
  title        = {Underhållsstödet - familjepolitikens albatross. 1997 års underhållsstödsreform och dess betydelse för de bidragsskyldiga föräldrarna},
  year         = {2002},
}