October 11, 2019 Feature

Child Support Compliance in the USA and Australia: To Persuade or Punish?

By J. Thomas Oldham & Bruce M. Smyth


Child support compliance continues to be a thorny policy issue, especially in the aftermath of the global financial crisis when governments are under pressure to minimize government expenditure. In this Article, we examine compliance rates and some of the key enforcement strategies in the United States context and compare these with those in Australia. Despite very different approaches to tackling compliance, neither country appears to be making much headway. We use this cross-national comparison to critically reflect on the issue of compliance and future policy directions more broadly.

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