Brough v Law: CA 20 Oct 2011

The parties had a child when they were married. A maintenance support order was made after they separated. They were briefly reconciled, and the father said that during that period there was no ‘qualifying child’ within the Act, and that therefore the existing order lapsed, and a new one would be required after the separation. He sought repayment of sums paid after the separation under the order.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘Weight must be attached to the presence of the expression ‘qualifying child’ in paragraph 16(1)(b) which requires reference to the definition of ‘qualifying child’ in section 3. That involves a further reference to the definition of ‘absent parent’ in section 3(2). An examination of paragraph 16(1) as a whole, however, drives me to the conclusion that it was not intended that a maintenance assessment would cease to have effect by reason of a short period of the parents living together:
(i) Such a conclusion would render sub-paragraph (a) at least partially and sub-paragraph (c) totally unnecessary and would undermine sub-paragraph (d) which deals expressly with persons living together.
(ii) The other sub-paragraphs in paragraph 16(1) contemplate a specific and permanent event and it is likely that sub-paragraph (b) was also intended to apply on the occurrence of a specific event, loss of status as a child, and not a transient one.
(iii) The presence of section 16(6) assumed the need for an application to the Secretary of State (now the Commission) to achieve a cancellation of the maintenance assessment when the parties are living together, a provision inconsistent with cancellation merely by living together.’

Pil, Rimer, Lewison LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 1183
Child Support Act 1991 3(2)
England and Wales
Appeal fromSL v Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission UTAA 11-Dec-2009
The mother and father had been married and had a child. They separated, and she claimed income support. The father was assessed to be liable to Child Support, but he was assessed to a nil contribution. He found work and the assessment was increased. . .
CitedSM v Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CSM) UTAA 8-Dec-2010
Child support – jurisdiction . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Child Support

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.445854