Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK

- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -

Children First: a new approach to child support

- Green Paper published by UK government on 6 July 1998

The following documents are available on the CSA website

Over the next few weeks we will be analysing the green paper and expanding this section, but here are our first thoughts.

Change in terminology

There is a welcome change in terminology, with the term 'absent parent' being replaced by 'non-resident parent'.

However the paper misses the opportunity to promote responsible shared parenting and instead refers to concepts which are at variance with the Children Act 1989, so we have:

As a result, it will still not be possible for parents who are sharing the care of their children to share the state benefits as well.

Summary of proposals

Initial thoughts

A missed opportunity to bring in something really workable. Despite all the window dressing it doesn't address any of the real issues and we are stuck with the old stereotypes of mothers looking after children and fathers paying, so where is the sharing in that?

This is a rough justice approach, with no allowance being made for:

David Cannon

Please send us your comments:

See also: National Association for Child Support Action (NACSA) -

Last updated - 8 July 1998

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