Farley v Child Support Agency and Another; Farley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (No. 2): HL 28 Jun 2006

Magistrates were wrong to think they had a discretion to look at the validity of a liability assessment under child support legislation. The Act gave the payer alternative avenues of appeal, and therefore the Act should be read as it stated and the magistrates had no such jurisdiction. ‘section 33(4) precludes the justices from investigating whether a maintenance assessment, or maintenance calculation in the current terminology, is a nullity. ‘
Lord Nicholls said: ‘The need for a strict approach to the interpretation of an ouster provision . . was famously confirmed in the leading case of Anisminic . . This strict approach, however, is not appropriate if an effective means of challenging the validity of a maintenance assessment is provided elsewhere. Then section 33(4) is not an ouster provision. Rather, it is part of a statutory scheme which allocates jurisdiction to determine the validity of an assessment and decide whether the defendant is a ‘liable person’ to a court other than the magistrates’ court.’ and ‘This statute introduced a new child maintenance scheme. The scheme was intended to provide an effective, cheap and speedy means to enforce parental support obligations. Another aim, of considerable importance, was to reduce dependence on social security and the cost to the tax payer.’

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Mance
[2006] UKHL 31, Times 30-Jun-2006, [2006] Fam Law 735, [2006] 3 All ER 935, [2006] 2 FCR 713, [2006] 1 WLR 1817
Bailii
Child Support Act 1991 33(4), Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 , Child Support Act 1995
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromFarley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (No 2) CA 22-Jun-2005
The Court of Apeal had previously considered an appeal from the grant of a liability order made by magistrates. It had become clear that the order had been made without jurisdiction.
Held: The order must be set aside. The court had no . .
CitedFarley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another CA 25-Jan-2005
The Respondent had sought a liability order against the appellant, the non-resident parent in respect of child support maintenance arrears. The appellant had asked the magistrates to consider whether he was liable to pay child support maintenance, . .
At First InstanceFarley v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 12-Jul-2004
The defendant and his wife were separated. The Child Support Agency assessed the contributions he was to make, and eventually pursued him in the magistrates court for arrears. The defendant argued that whilst the Act did prevent the magistrates . .
CitedSecretary of State for Social Security v Shotton and Others QBD 30-Jan-1996
Magistrates have no power to question an assessment made by the Child Support Agency when making a deduction order. . .
CitedAnisminic Ltd v Foreign Compensation Commission HL 17-Dec-1968
There are no degrees of nullity
The plaintiffs had owned mining property in Egypt. Their interests were damaged and or sequestrated and they sought compensation from the Respondent Commission. The plaintiffs brought an action for the declaration rejecting their claims was a . .
CitedSecretary of State for Social Security and Another v Harmon and Another CA 5-Jun-1998
. .

Cited by:
CitedA, Regina (on The Application of) v B; Regina (A) v Director of Establishments of the Security Service SC 9-Dec-2009
B, a former senior member of the security services wished to publish his memoirs. He was under contractual and statutory obligations of confidentiality. He sought judicial review of a decision not to allow him to publish parts of the book, saying it . .
CitedChild Maintenance and Enforcement Commission v Gibbons; Same v Karoonian CA 30-Oct-2012
Non-resident parents in each case appealed against suspended orders of imprisonment for non-payment of child support. They argued that the procedures used were indistinguishable from those held to be human rights non-compliant in Mubarak.
Child Support, Magistrates

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.242926

REW, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Admn 13 Jun 2008

The claimant sought permission to bring judicial review of decisions of the Child Support Agency. He said that his payments should have been reduced for a period when he was in receipt of job seeker’s allowance. A liability order had been made against him, but for a later period.
Held: Leave was refused. The admission that the liability order related to a different period meant that the decision to enforce the liability order was not reviewable. Nevertheless the court considered the responsibility of different sections of the same department to take account of decisions about the same person. The Agency said that by the time it became aware of the payment of benefits, the 1991 Act precluded it from making a re-assessment. This was correct.

Andrew Nichol QC J
[2008] EWHC 2120 (Admin)
Bailii
Child Support Act 1991 16 17
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedKerr v Department for Social Development (Northern Ireland) HL 6-May-2004
Wrongful Refusal of Benefits
The claimant was estranged from his family, but claimed re-imbursement of the expenses for his brother’s funeral. The respondent required him to establish that none of his siblings was in a better position than he to pay for the funeral, but he had . .
CitedHinchy v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 3-Mar-2005
The applicant had been dependent upon income support, and had then come to receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA). She therefore received additional income support, but the office did not adjust that benefit down when her DLA stopped. The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Child Support, Benefits

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.276233

Delaney v Delaney: CA 22 May 1990

The court made an order for nominal periodical payments for children whose mother was receiving social security benefits. Nourse LJ said: ‘Whilst this court deprecates any notion that a former husband and extant father may slough off the tight skin of familial responsibility and may slither away and lose himself in the greener grass on the other side, nonetheless this court has proclaimed and will proclaim that it looks to the realities of the real world in which we live, and among the realities of life is that there is a life after divorce. The respondent husband is entitled to order his life in such a way as will hold in reasonable balance the responsibilities to his existing family which he carries into his new life, as well as his proper aspirations for that new future.’

Nourse LJ
[1990] 2 FLR 457, [1990] EWCA Civ 14, [1991] FCR 161
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedSecretary 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 . .
CitedKehoe, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 14-Jul-2005
The applicant contended that the 1991 Act infringed her human rights in denying her access to court to obtain maintenance for her children.
Held: The applicant had no substantive right to take part in the enforcement process in domestic law . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Child Support

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.194405

Department of Social Security v Butler: CA 11 Aug 1995

The Secretary of State was not entitled to a Mareva injunction preventing the disposal of assets against a parent pending the issue of a child support assessment. The court refused a freezing order:- (Morritt LJ) ‘The Child Support Act introduced a wholly new framework for the assessment and collection of the sums required for the maintenance of children by their parents. There is no provision for the enforcement of any maintenance assessment except by the Secretary of State and his methods of enforcement are limited in the way I have mentioned. In my judgment the detailed provisions contained in the Act of 1991 which I have described show clearly that Parliament intended that all questions concerning the enforcement of maintenance assessments should be determined exclusively by the Secretary of State, the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court. The civil jurisdiction of the High Court is, in my view, necessarily excluded.’
Evans LJ: ‘The following observations may be made on these statutory provisions. (1) The Act of 1991 together with regulations made under it provide a detailed and apparently comprehensive code for the collection of payments due under maintenance assessments and the enforcement of liability orders made on the application of the Secretary of State. (2) The only method provided for enforced collection before a liability order is made is a deduction from earnings order made by the Secretary of State himself under section 31. (3) Although section 1(3) provides for a duty which arises when the maintenance assessment is made, this duty is not expressed as a civil debt. Mr Crampin accepts that the duty could not be directly enforced by action in any civil court, or by any means other than as provided in the Act. (4) There is no provision for precautionary or Mareva-style relief.’
Morritt LJ: ‘As I have indicated the Secretary of State claims in respect of the statutory right correlative with the obligation expressed in section 1(3) of the Act of 1991. But that obligation and right is not a civil debt in any ordinary sense. First, the obligation may only be enforced by the Secretary of State and not by any other person who may be stated to be the payee in the maintenance assessment. Secondly, the Secretary of State’s powers of enforcement do not enable him to sue for the arrears in the ordinary way. In the first instance his choice lies between a deduction of earnings order directed to the employer or an application to justices for a liability order. In my judgment, neither of those rights is such as would entitle this court, consistently with the decision in The Veracruz I [1992] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 353 to grant Mareva relief.
The Child Support Act 1991 introduced a wholly new framework for the assessment and collection of the sums required for the maintenance of children by their parents. There is no provision for the enforcement of any maintenance assessment except by the Secretary of State and his methods of enforcement are limited in the way I have mentioned. It seems to me that it would be inconsistent with the Act as a whole in general and with section 33 in particular if the Secretary of State were to be at liberty to apply for Mareva injunctions in the High Court. If the conditions in section 33(1) are satisfied then Parliament has clearly laid down that the Secretary of State should proceed first in the magistrates’ court and then in the county court. If those conditions are not satisfied then Parliament has clearly ordained that the Secretary of State should not be entitled to enforce the maintenance assessment by court process at all.
No doubt clear words or a necessary implication are required to exclude the jurisdiction of the court. The suggested exclusion in this case is of the High Court’s ordinary civil jurisdiction which includes the power to grant injunctions. In my judgment, the detailed provisions contained in the Act of 1991 which I have described show clearly that Parliament intended that all questions concerning the enforcement of maintenance assessments should be determined exclusively by the Secretary of State, the magistrates’ court or the county court. The civil jurisdiction of the High Court is, in my view, necessarily excluded. I agree with Evans LJ that the judge was right and that this application should be dismissed.’
Simon Brown LJ: ‘For my part I believe that the argument fails at both stages albeit for what in the last analysis may be thought essentially the selfsame reason. Put shortly my conclusions are, first, that Mareva relief is only obtainable where there is already available to the applicant a cause of action properly so called, viz. a right to litigate or arbitrate an existing monetary claim, and, secondly, that the Act of 1991 affords to the Secretary of State no such cause of action, and indeed no rights at all save only those expressly conferred upon him by section 4(2) to arrange in certain circumstances either for the ‘collection’ of maintenance payable under an assessment or for the ‘enforcement’ of the obligation to pay such maintenance, in each instance as thereafter expressly provided for in sections 29 et seq. of the Act of 1991.’
Morritt LJ, Evans LJ, Simon Brown LJ
Ind Summary 14-Aug-1995, Times 11-Aug-1995, [1995] 1 WLR 1528
Supreme Court Act 1981 37, Child Support Act 1991
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedSecretary 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 . .
CitedKehoe, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 14-Jul-2005
The applicant contended that the 1991 Act infringed her human rights in denying her access to court to obtain maintenance for her children.
Held: The applicant had no substantive right to take part in the enforcement process in domestic law . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 04 June 2021; Ref: scu.79908

K, Regina (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Admn 16 May 2003

Wall J
[2003] EWHC 1021 (Admin)
Bailii
Child Support Act 1991
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedKaplan v United Kingdom ECHR 14-Dec-1978
(Admissibility) The Secretary of State had, after preliminary procedures, served notices on an insurance company disallowing it from writing any new business, because its managing director the applicant, had been found not to be a fit and proper . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 March 2021; Ref: scu.450992

SM v Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CSM): UTAA 8 Dec 2010

Child support – jurisdiction
Judge David Williams
[2010] UKUT 435 (AAC)
Bailii
Citing:
ApprovedSL 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. . .

Cited by:
CitedBrough v Law CA 20-Oct-2011
brough_lawCA2011
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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 March 2021; Ref: scu.433615

Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission v Forrest: Admn 14 May 2010

[2010] EWHC 1264 (Admin)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSaunders v The United Kingdom ECHR 17-Dec-1996
(Grand Chamber) The subsequent use against a defendant in a prosecution, of evidence which had been obtained under compulsion in company insolvency procedures was a convention breach of Art 6. Although not specifically mentioned in Article 6 of the . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 February 2021; Ref: scu.416187

Regina v C (A Minor): CACD 5 Jul 2000

A judge who had ordered the trial of an eleven year old boy in the Crown Court but in doing so had kept in mind the judgement in the cases of T v United Kingdom and V v United Kingdom, and had made appropriate adjustments to the proceedings, had acted properly within his discretion.
Times 05-Jul-2000
England and Wales

Updated: 17 February 2021; Ref: scu.85159

In re S (a child) and W (a child); KSJ v WRW: CA 5 Nov 2008

The mother sought leave to appeal against orders made for the financial support of her children. The parties had been involved in very protracted and bitter litigation.
Held: The appeals had no reasonable prospect of success and were dismissed.
Wall LJ
[2008] EWCA Civ 1207
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedTaylor v Lawrence CA 4-Feb-2002
A party sought to re-open a judgment on the Court of Appeal after it had been perfected. A case had been tried before a judge. One party had asked for a different judge to be appointed, after the judge disclosed that he had been a client of the firm . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 11 February 2021; Ref: scu.277535

R(CS) 6/03: SSCS 5 Nov 2002

Maintenance assessment – whether ‘parent with care’ includes step-parent
Human rights – application of Human Rights Act 1998 where Secretary of State’s decision before October 2000 and tribunal hearing afterwards
[2002] UKSSCSC CCS – 1306 – 2001
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRegina v Kansal (2) HL 29-Nov-2001
The prosecutor had lead and relied at trial on evidence obtained by compulsory questioning under the 1986 Act.
Held: In doing so the prosecutor was acting to give effect to section 433.
The decision in Lambert to disallow retrospective . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 January 2021; Ref: scu.197630

(Un-named) (CSA): SSCS 17 Mar 1997

Maintenance assessment – effective date – whether maintenance enquiry form sent to the absent parent when properly addressed, pre-paid and posted
Natural justice – whether the withholding of relevant evidence from an appeal tribunal by a child support officer renders the decision of the tribunal erroneous in law
[1997] UKSSCSC CCS – 12682 – 1996
Bailii
Child Support Act 1991 4, Child Support (Maintenance Assessment Procedure) Regulations 1992 30(2)(a)
England and Wales

Updated: 13 January 2021; Ref: scu.197458

(Un-named): SSCS 1 Oct 2003

The mother had challenged payments required of her by way of child support. The Secretary of State now appealed.
Held: The appeal was rejected: ‘a gay relationship can be a family for the purpose of [A]rticle 8’. There was no reason, in the context of child support legislation, to distinguish between families according to the sexual orientation of the partners. The purpose of the regulations was to determine the financial obligation of the absent parent, a matter on which his or her sexual orientation should have no bearing. Accordingly, the applicant’s situation was within the ambit of the right to respect for family life. The court rejected, however, the applicant’s argument that the situation also came within the ambit of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1. As to Article 14, the Commissioner found that, in the context of child support payments, the applicant’s situation was analogous to that of an absent parent living with a heterosexual partner, who, all other things being equal, would have been required to pay around GBP 14 per week instead of almost GBP 47. The Government had not advanced any justification for treating the applicant differently and therefore the child support scheme violated the applicant’s Convention right under Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 8. Concerning the remedy, the Commissioner disagreed with the approach of the Appeals Tribunal. Instead, since the regulations defined the various terms used by the regulations ‘unless the context otherwise requires’, he considered that, with the entry into force of the Human Rights Act on 2 October 2000, the ‘context’ now included the absent parent’s Convention rights. Therefore, the definition of an unmarried couple (‘a man and a woman who are not married to each other but are living together as husband and wife’) did not apply in this situation.
[2003] UKSSCSC CCS – 1153 – 2003
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights, Child Support (Maintenance Assessments and Special Cases) Regulations 1992 1(2)
Cited by:
Appeal fromSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v M CA 15-Oct-2004
M had challenged the Child Support Regulations saying that they discriminated against her. She was the liable parent, and in a monogomoud lesbian relationship. As such she said that she was treated worse than she would have been since the . .
At CommissionerJM v United Kingdom ECHR 21-Nov-2008
. .
At CommissionerJM v United Kingdom ECHR 28-Sep-2010
The applicant alleged that she had been the victim of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the assessment by the authorities of her financial liability under the regulations on child support. . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 January 2021; Ref: scu.197368

Dorney-Kingdom v Dorney-Kingdom: CA 25 Jul 2000

A court may not make an original order for child maintenance, save by consent. The practice of disguising such an order, as part of spousal maintenance, pending a determination by the Child Support Agency, was only legitimate where there was included a real element of spousal maintenance. Simply calling child maintenance spousal maintenance is not correct or legitimate.
Times 25-Jul-2000, Gazette 27-Jul-2000
Child Support Act 1991 8(5)
England and Wales

Updated: 17 December 2020; Ref: scu.80101

Giltinane v Child Support Agency: FD 9 Mar 2006

The applicant sought to appeal against a liability order out of time.
Held: The time limit for appeals was not extendable. However the magistrates finding had been based upon misleading evidence supplied by the Agency. Where as here there was a risk of a miscarriage of justice, it was open to the claimant to seek a judicial review of the magistrates’ decision. If there was no other way of providing justice a review would be granted. The decision was reviewed.
Munby J
Times 07-Apr-2006

Updated: 15 December 2020; Ref: scu.240156

Regina v Housing Benefit Review Board of Swale Borough Council ex parte Simon Stuart Marchant: CA 17 Nov 1999

A party in a separated couple where primary residence was with the other party, had staying contact, but the child benefit remained unapportioned. That party was not able to claim housing benefit which would reflect his need for larger accommodation to facilitate that staying contact. The decision was an administrative exercise as to whether the child was ‘normally living’ with him.
Times 17-Nov-1999
Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 137
England and Wales
Citing:

Cited by:

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 07 December 2020; Ref: scu.85578

Langley v Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: CA 15 Oct 2004

It was discriminatory to treat differently homosexual and heterosexual couples when considering liability for child support payments. Sedley LJ: ‘The broad effect of the material provisions is to allocate the financial responsibility of separated parents for the maintenance of their children by pooling the absent parent’s income and outgoings with those of his or her new partner if, but only if, that partner is of the opposite sex. For same-sex couples this means that the one who is an absent parent is assessed as if living alone, with generally disadvantageous consequences.’ and ‘Putting it schematically, the child support scheme sets out to respect family life by making allowance for the joint expenses of an absent parent’s new household. It is this, without regard to discrimination, which brings the measure within the ambit of article 8. If then the scheme discriminates between one family unit and another on the ground of its members’ sexuality, article 14 too becomes engaged. Here, by treating their finances as wholly separate when they are not, and by consequently assessing M’s child support payment at a higher sum that if theirs was a heterosexual partnership, the scheme manifests a different level of respect for their family life.’
Neuberger LJ: ‘the reduction in liability effected by regulation 11 is accorded for the purpose of ensuring that that absent parent’s new family is not so deprived of money that it is significantly detrimentally affected by the liability of the absent parent to pay child support. To my mind, it follows from this that M has made good her case that the relevant provision, of which she does not have the benefit because she is in a same sex, rather than a heterosexual, relationship, was enacted out of respect for family life, the family life in question being that of the absent parent and his/her new partner.’
References: [2004] EWCA (Civ) 1343, Times 11-Nov-2004
Judges: Lord Justice Kennedy Lord Justice Sedley Lord Justice Neuberger
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Appeal From – Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v M HL 8-Mar-2006
    The respondent’s child lived with the estranged father for most of each week. She was obliged to contribute child support. She now lived with a woman, and complained that because her relationship was homosexual, she had been asked to pay more than . .
    (, [2006] UKHL 11, Times 14-Mar-06, [2006] 2 WLR 637, [2006] 2 AC 91, [2006] 1 FCR 497, [2006] 2 FLR 56, [2006] UKHRR 799, [2006] 36 Fam Law 524, 21 BHRC 254, [2006] HRLR 19, [2006] 4 All ER 929)

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 27 November 2020; Ref: scu.218841

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Jones: FD 2 Jul 2003

The appellant Secretary of State challenged a decision of magistrates as to whether the respondent was the father of a child for whom Child Support was sought. The mother had been married, but had been living with the respondent at the appropriate time. The respondent had refused to provide a DNA sample for testing. The magistrates applied the presumption that a child born in wedlock was the child of the husband.
Held: The magistrates had erred in law. The presumption which followed a refusal to provide a sample was virtually inescapable, and should be given greater weight than the presumption of legitimacy. The result, if the magistrates had been correct, was that a child could never obtain a declaration of paternity, which would impact upon the child’s right to family life.
References: Times 13-Aug-2003, Gazette 18-Sep-2003
Judges: Elizabeth Butler-Sloss President
Statutes: Family Law Act 1986
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case cites:

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 27 November 2020; Ref: scu.185857

T v Child Support Agency: QBD 7 May 1998

A putative father has no appeal against incorrect finding of paternity. His only remedy is to apply to the High Court under Ord. 15 r 16 for a declaration of paternity. Similarly there was no right for a father to request a declaration of paternity.
References: Gazette 07-May-1998
Statutes: Child Support Act 1991 27

Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.89675

Secretary of State for Social Security v Shotton and Others: QBD 30 Jan 1996

Magistrates have no power to question an assessment made by the Child Support Agency when making a deduction order.
References: Independent 30-Jan-1996, [1996] 2 FLR 241
Statutes: Child Support Act 1991 32(6)
This case is cited by:

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.89096

Norris (Inspector of Taxes) v Edgson: ChD 30 May 2000

Where a father paid child support to the mother through the Child Support Agency, and where the mother had re-married and that subsequent marriage had also ended in divorce, the maintenance paid did not attract income tax relief under the section. The payment remained a ‘qualifying payment’ for claiming the tax relief only until the other party had re-married. A subsequent divorce did not defeat fulfilment of that condition.
References: Gazette 31-May-2000, Times 30-May-2000
Statutes: Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 347B

Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.84340

In Re N (A Minor) (Adoption: Foreign Guardianship): FD 27 Jun 2000

Somebody who had been appointed guardian of a child by a foreign court but which order was recognised here, had sufficient standing to be the person entitled to give consent to an adoption or whose consent could be dispensed with. The Act should be read to give a wider construction as to the person able to give consent, and the authorities interpreted accordingly.
References: Times 27-Jun-2000
Statutes: Adoption Act 1976 16(1)

Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.82068

In Re C (A Minor) (Child Support Agency: Disclosure): FD 7 Oct 1994

There is no power to use the Child Support Agency to obtain a father’s address. The Children Act is to be used instead. The Secretary of State was not obliged under Child Support legislation to disclose a father’s address.
References: Times 07-Oct-1994, Gazette 09-Nov-1994
Statutes: Child Support Act 1991 50(6)
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.81783

In Re C (A Minor: Contribution Notice): FD 13 May 1993

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.’
References: Times 13-May-1993, [1994] 1 FLR 111
Judges: Ward J
Statutes: Children Act 1989 Sch 2
This case is cited by:

  • 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 . .
    ([2004] EWCA Civ 225, , Times 10-Mar-04, Gazette 01-Apr-04, [2004] QB 1378, [2004] UKHRR 443, [2004] 1 FCR 511, [2004] 2 WLR 1481, [2004] 1 FLR 1132)

These lists may be incomplete.
Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.81788

Hackshaw v Hackshaw: FD 29 Jul 1999

Even though in some circumstances there was no formal requirement imposed on magistrates by statute to give reasons for their decision, where that decision was capable of being appealed the giving of reasons was greatly to be encouraged, since in the event of a success at appeal, the appeal court need not order a re-hearing.
References: Times 29-Jul-1999
Statutes: Maintenance Orders Act 1958 4 (2) (a)

Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.81124

SH v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Ch and Revenue and Customs (CSM) (Child Support – Calculation of Income): UTAA 3 May 2018

the non-resident parent’s gross income from and including the effective date of 8 November 2015 is to be calculated without regard to regulation 36(2)(b) of the Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012.
References: [2018] UKUT 157 (AAC)
Links: Bailii
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

Last Update: 21 November 2020; Ref: scu.616363

French v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Another: CA 13 Mar 2018

The father was a professional gambler, deriving his entire income from these activities. The court was asked whether that income was to be taken into account in assessing his liability to pay Child Support.
Held: His appeal was allowed.
References: [2018] EWCA Civ 470
Links: Bailii
Judges: Hickinbottom, Coulson LJJ
Statutes: Child Support (Maintenance Assessment and Special Cases) Regulations 1992
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

Last Update: 17 November 2020; Ref: scu.605865

Dalton, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions: Admn 10 Feb 2017

Application for judicial review of the decision by the Secretary of State, made through the Child Support Agency not to reimburse him for overpaid child support in the sum of andpound;43,617.72
References: [2017] EWHC 213 (Admin)
Links: Bailii
Judges: Nathalie Lieven QC
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

Last Update: 29 October 2020; Ref: scu.575296