The implications of child support for housing after relationship dissolution

Maggie Walter, Belinda Hewitt, Kristin Natalier, Maryann Wulff, Margaret Reynolds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    In this article we investigate the associations between the payment and receipt of child support and housing circumstances of both resident and non-resident parents. We do so by analysing data from Wave 4 of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The final analytic sample comprised 1,043 separated parents (637 resident parents, 406 non-resident parents). Our findings indicate that for resident parents the receipt of child support payments above $75 per week was significantly associated with better housing circumstances. By contrast, the payment of child support was not significantly related to housing outcomes for non-resident parents. Overall, our results suggest that resident parents in receipt of child support, particularly above the median amount, live with their children in better housing circumstances than resident parents receiving little or no child support. While this finding makes intuitive sense - money matters - the way in which child support appears to be differentially related to the housing circumstances of resident and non-resident parents warrants further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-87
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Family Studies
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


    • Child support
    • Children
    • Divorce
    • Housing
    • Parental separation


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