Child support contributions made by divorced male and female parents to the direct consumption costs of dependent children Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zk51vk53n

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  • Identification of the contribution made by the divorced male and female parent to the direct consumption costs of dependent children was the central purpose of the research study. Relationships between the parents' contributions to the consumption costs and specified demographic characteristics at the time of divorce, methods of determining support and property settlements received were investigated. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Estimated Urban Family Budgets for the Seattle-Everett, Washington area and Revised Equivalence Scales served as the basis for determining the families' level of living and the consumptions costs of dependent children. A sample of 242 divorce cases involving minor children from Marion County, Oregon between 1 January 1975 and 31 December 1976 was randomly drawn from the Vital Statistics Section of the Oregon State Health Division in Portland, Oregon. In half of these cases the male parent's name was drawn; in the other half the female parent's name was drawn. A mailed questionnaire concerning the family's child support and economic situation was sent to the above sample. Fifteen responses from male parents and 30 responses from female parents were received and served as the data base for this research. Parents' mean age was somewhat over 30 years with both having some post high school education as the median educational level. The mean number of children per family was 2.16. At the time of divorce the families' median income level was between $12, 000 and $13, 999 with 87 percent of the male parents and 51 percent of the female parents employed full time. Male parents generally experienced increases in their income following divorce while responding females reported decreases in income levels. Most male respondents estimated their share of property to be less than half while 50 percent of responding females estimated their share to be more than half. In 93 percent of the families, the female parent had custody of all the dependent children with the mean amount of child support awarded per dependent child being $102. 50 per month. In two cases the male parent had custody of all the dependent children and in neither case was child support awarded. In one family each parent had custody of half the family's children with neither receiving child support. In approximately one-third of the families, the non-custodial parent was reported to be paying some expenses for dependent children in addition to child support. The amount of child support awarded was reported to be determined by courts, mutual agreements of parents, lawyers and former spouses. Over half the parents responded that child support paid or received was adequate but in almost all cases no provision was made for increases in the amount of child support awarded. A difference was observed between the male and female parent's contribution to the consumption costs of dependent children. The parent's contribution to consumption costs was found to be dependent upon the educational level of the female parent, the employment status of the male parent, and the income level of the family. It was not found to be dependent on the number of dependent children in the family, the age of parents, the educational level of the male parent, nor the employment status of the female parent. Data did suggest that a dependency relation might exist between the parent's contribution and the method of determining child support. No dependency was observed between the property settlement at time of divorce received and the parent's contribution to child support.
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