Descriptions of loss and resilience among fathers paying child support

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    Abstract

    In this paper, I present qualitative data on the ways in which 28 fathers contextualise their payment of child support in their relationships with their ex-partners, children and the Child Support Agency (CSA). Fathers described their experience in terms of either loss or resilience. Those in the loss category positioned themselves as victims of their ex-partner's use of the CSA. They understood their child support obligations as illustrative of broader processes of silencing and disempowerment, whereby their identities and practices as fathers were ignored. Those men who talked about their experiences in terms of resilience shared accounts of post-separation parenting that took place beyond the surveillance of the CSA, with parents focused on the best interests of their children. They did not experience a threat to their fathering choices or identities. The findings highlight the importance of gendered and expressive dimensions of child support.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)246-255
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Family Studies
    Volume18
    Issue number2-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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