Articles

Honesty is the best approach. The importance of fairness perceptions in child maintenance agreements

Authors
  • Elke Claessens (University of Antwerp)
  • Dimitri Mortelmans

Abstract

Research suggests that experiencing a sense of fairness in one’s child support agreement following a parental breakup can prevent non-payment. This article builds on this finding by conducting and analyzing in-depth inter-views among Flemish parents concerning i) what the experience of (un)fairness implies in the context of child support agreements, ii) which factors of the decision-making process contribute to a sense of (un)fairness and iii) how (un)fairness manifests itself depending on how an agreement has been reached.

In addition to a definition of (un)fairness, the results provide insight into four themes with regard to child sup-port agreements where perceptions of justice play a prominent role: the calculation process, the resulting amount, and the characteristics of the agreement and of the parental parties. Finally, analyzing experiences of (un)fairness within specific agreement strategies shapes a typology to guide parents and mediators in achieving a sense of fairness in child support agreements.

Keywords: Agreements, Child Support Determination, Compliance, Fairness, Mediation

How to Cite:

Claessens, E. & Mortelmans, D., (2022) “Honesty is the best approach. The importance of fairness perceptions in child maintenance agreements”, Relaties en Nieuwe Gezinnen 12(1), p.1–25. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/reng.84675

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Published on
11 May 2022
Peer Reviewed