The father appealed against an order for contribution under the 1989 Act. It was argued that the contributing parent must simply cut his cloth acording to his means, and organise his life to follow first his duty to maintain his child.
Held: The magistrates had not given reasons for their decision, but the court had to endeavour to assist. The Act required the justices to have due regard to the contributors means. The Act set out explicitly the standard to be applied, in para 21(6) and maintenance was not payable save as set out. ‘Essentially the exercise was to assess a contributor’s means by references to the sources of his income and the manner in which he had expended that income. Due regard had to be had to the result of that balancing mathematical exercise and the court clearly had to have regard to wholly unreasonable expenditure. However, provided money was reasonably expended, it did not seem that a value judgment could be superimposed so as to require a court to say that a contributor should not have expended a particular sum of money because of a prior liability to his child. The justices were to allow parents for reasonable and actual expenses when fixing maintenance: ‘The strange state of our law is that there may be a so-called common law duty to maintain, but when one analyses what that duty is it seems effectively to have come to nothing. Like so many rights, the right extends only so far as the remedy to enforce it extends. . . the common law has no remedy. The remedies to enforce a duty to maintain are statutory remedies which are variously laid down in numerous statutes.’
Times 13-May-1993,  1 FLR 111
Cited – Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Kehoe CA 5-Mar-2004
The claimant had applied to the Child Support Agncy for maintenance. They failed utterly to obtain payment, and she complained now that she was denied the opportunity by the 1991 Act to take court proceedings herself.
Held: The denial of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Children, Child Support
Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.81788