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“If It Shall Seem Just and Proper”: The Effect of Race and Morals on Alimony and Child Support Appeals in the District of Columbia, 1950-1980

Citation

Ards, Sheila D.; Darity, William A., Jr.; & Myers, Samuel L., Jr. (1998). "If It Shall Seem Just and Proper": The Effect of Race and Morals on Alimony and Child Support Appeals in the District of Columbia, 1950-1980. Journal of Family History, 23(4), 441-75.

Abstract

This article tests the hypothesis that judicial arbitrariness dominated alimony or child support appeals in the pre-no-fault era by analyzing data on all alimony and child support appeals in the District of Columbia from 1950 through 1980. Censored regression analysis is used to isolate the impacts of race and morals grounds for divorce on changes in alimony and child support awards from trial to appeal. The results show large race effects but small morals effects. Judicial discretion—measured by unexplained gaps in awards—dominated relevant eco nomic factors in determining changes in alimony and child support awards during the pre-no-fault era.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1177/036319909802300406

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Family History

Author(s)

Ards, Sheila D.
Darity, William A., Jr.
Myers, Samuel L., Jr.

Year Published

1998

Volume Number

23

Issue Number

4

Pages

441-75

Reference ID

1156