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MAIN FINDINGS h Out of Australias 46 million children aged under eighteen 11 million children live with only one of their natural parents usually as a result of relationship or marriage breakdown h 18 per cent of children were in one-parent families and 8 per cent were in step or blended families h The vast majority of children who had a natural parent living elsewhere were in the sole care of the parent with whom they lived while 3 per cent of children had parents who shared care more evenly between them h Younger children were likely to visit the parent they did not live with more frequently than older children h 42 per cent of families 199200 one-parent families and 53700 step and blended families received cash child support from the other parent h A further 16 per cent of families received support such as clothing pocket money and assistance with school fees h 41 per cent of families received no child support from the other parent h Around one-third of all families receiving cash child support received on average 100 or less per month per child h For one-parent families the median income for families receiving child support was 18200 while for those not receiving child support it was 16900 h For step and blended couple families the median income for families receiving child support was 45140 while for those not receiving child support it was 37440 Preface The 1997 Family Characteristics Survey examined exchanges between children and parents who live apart most often as a consequence of marriage or relationship breakdown While administrative records of child support arrangements are maintained by the Child Support Agency this was the first time that the ABS conducted a national survey of child support and visiting arrangements Information includes frequency and duration of contact between children and their parents who live
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