Child Support Initiative:
Research Framework

6.0 SPECIAL STUDIES ON SOCIAL CONTEXT

A number of studies and analyses are planned to provide baseline information about the broader social context of the Child Support Guidelines and Enforcement Initiatives. These studies will be based on Statistics Canada and Revenue Canada databases that contain information on divorce, separation, child or spousal awards, and custody and access arrangements of families in Canada generally. A description of the surveys themselves can be found in Annex C.

6.1 ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL LONGITUDINAL SURVEY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH (NLSCY) ON ISSUES OF CUSTODY, ACCESS AND CHILD SUPPORT

The Department of Justice Canada participated in the development of some specific questions on custody, access and child support for the family and child custody history section of the NLSCY. An analysis of the first cycle data is underway and is due for release in spring 1999. Data from the subsequent cycles will be incorporated as the data become available.

6.2 SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILES OF PAYERS AND RECIPIENTS

This research will attempt to describe the population of payers and recipients using data collected from a number of different sources. At the moment, little is known about the socio-demographic characteristics of payers in particular. A number of strategies will be used to try to improve our level of understanding of this group.

Initial work will involve examining Revenue Canada tax files to explore the relationships among the award amount and income level and income source of both payers and recipients. Data from Statistics Canada's Longitudinal Administrative Database, Survey of Consumer Finances, General Social Survey and Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics will also be analyzed to provide additional information on the socio-demographic characteristics of payers and recipients, including their age, gender, income level, sources of income and occupation.

6.3 SELECTED STATISTICS ON CANADIAN FAMILIES AND FAMILY LAW

The Child Support Team's Research Unit has compiled a brief report that provides statistics and statistical trends on the status of families in Canada and on related family law issues, such as divorce, separation, child support, custody and access. The first report is now available from the Child Support Team. It is anticipated that this publication will require updating periodically as new information becomes available.

Many different data sources were used in the first edition, including the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings, Revenue Canada tax statistics, and most sources listed in Annex C.

6.4 SHORT- AND LONG-TERM ECONOMIC CAREERS OF LOW-INCOME PAYERS AND RECEPIENTS

This project will examine the impact of separation and divorce on the household economies of low-income parents. In particular, this study will try to address the issue of whether there has been any measurable change in their circumstances since the adoption of the Guidelines and, more generally, to understand how support awards interact with social assistance benefits over time and in various jurisdictions in the country.

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