Answered By: Jeffrey Orrico
Last Updated: Feb 01, 2017     Views: 58


It’s probably easiest to begin with general American legal, cultural, and social history from which you can identify some of the critical theories and events that affected the development of the concept of child support as a legal obligation of parents.


Online and print academic encyclopedias offer a concise introduction to your topic, highlight some of the major topics and provide bibliographies of books, articles, and legal materials that can help you develop your research further. 


·         Search the term “child support” in Credo to access many online reference works.


·         Search the subject heading “Social sciences encyclopedias” to locate reference books such as International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences, and look for entries about children’s rights and support.


·         The legal encyclopedia, Corpus Juris Secundum, has extensive entries on American case law regarding Child Support, as well as cross-references to West’s Key Number System which you can use in the printed West’s Connecticut Digest and the online WestLaw database.


·         Policy discussions concerning child support can be found in the CQ Researcher database.


Use these resources to narrow your topic.  Will you address child support issues in divorce, with children born out of wedlock, in court-decreed divorce or separation, or in same-sex relationships?  Will you consider the types of expenses for which support must be provided?  Will you discuss enforcement mechanisms?  Are you concerned with public policy and tax issues? Do you want to explore cultural differences or changing beliefs concerning support obligations?  Are issues of gender biases important?  These kinds of choices will help you choose the most appropriate search strategies and resources.


Subject headings in the library catalog that would be relevant include:


·         Domestic relations


·         Children’s rights


·         Child support


Useful history of child support law and history can be found at:


·         Office of Child Support Enforcement, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services - (support enforcement laws timeline)

·         Colonial Connecticut Records -  (Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, 1636-1776).

·         "Connecticut Archives", 1629-1820 -


Our print legal resources are limited; however you can search the statutes and cases of all state and federal jurisdictions using the WestLaw database.  Connecticut and federal laws are also available in our print reference collection.


Related Topics

Ask Us

Your Question
Your Info
Fields marked with * are required.