Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mother's child support victory

This looks like an interesting case, although unfortunately (and no disrespect intended), I can only find a report of it in The Bolton News. In particular, I can find no trace of a report of the Upper Tribunal decision, either on Bailii or on the Judiciary website. Accordingly, I am not 100% certain of the facts, but they seem to be as follows:

1. Mother of child applies to CSA/CMEC.

2. Father works for a private security company in Afghanistan.

3. CMEC incorrectly advise mother that they have no jurisdiction to deal with application, as father works in Afghanistan.

4. Mother appeals decision, and succeeds.

5. Father then appeals to Upper Tribunal, which finds in his favour, saying that the failure to pay child support arose solely from advice given by CMEC.

6. Mother then seeks compensation from CMEC, and receives £35,600.

(If any of the above is incorrect, or if anyone knows where a report of the Upper Tribunal decision may be found, do let me know.)

Note that, as mentioned in the report, Ms Kelly would not be entitled to child support/maintenance under the proposed new child maintenance system, which will be based on UK income tax returns.

* * * * *

UPDATE: It seems that my assumption of the facts in this case was not correct. I have received an email from CMEC which states:
"On the child maintenance case you mention - my understanding is it's not £35K compensation from CMEC. It's the sum the non-resident parent has been re-assessed to pay in maintenance as a result of the Upper Tier decision.

The error occurred because the case was governed by the 'old' ,pre-2003, rules which take a wider view of assessable income. Foreign-earned income (by those habitually resident in the UK) is not taken assessable under the current (post 2003) rules.

As we said in our quote , the government is seeking to widen the scope of liability in these cases. Despite claims to the contrary!"
Just goes to show you can't rely on what you read in the mainstream media, which includes the Daily Mail, although I'm sure you knew that anyway...

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