Football player appeals child maintenance

family law

A “well-known” professional football player has successfully challenged the amount of child maintenance he had been required to pay.

The 32 year-old had previously been ordered to hand over £2500 per month for each of his two children, which meant his annual bill came to £60,000. At the time, he played for a club in the Championship – the second highest division in English football – but following the club’s relegation to a lower league at the end of last season, his contract came to an end.

He subsequently appealed against the child maintenance order, arguing that he no longer had an income.

At the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Mostyn said the initial judge had concluded that the father’s earning capacity was around £190,000 a year, so the amount specified in the child maintenance order represented 31.5 per cent of his overall income. This was “almost exactly double the rate” usually set for these cases, the judge noted.

The judge said that such a large amount should “be clearly justified”, but that the original order failed to do so. Consequently, he ruled that the order be set aside and re-examined by the initial judge.

In the meantime, Mr Justice Mostyn made an interim order that the father should pay £15,200 per year for each child. He added that these payments would begin two months from the date of his judgment so the father would have “a small breathing space in this period when he is out of work”.

While the judge claimed he was unable to make final orders in this case because he did not have enough evidence to do so, he urged the father and mother to consider accepting his temporary order as a final one. He added that if the parents could not come to an agreement on child maintenance, mediation could be the best course of action.

To read Re TW & TM (Minors), click here.

Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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9 comments

Rachel - October 28, 2015 at 1:37pm

It’s just so staggering how biased and prejudice the family courts are against men. Given that the government backed formula for child maintenance is 15-20%, how can any court get away with such outrageous and penalising orders!!

There is no come-back for the man in this case. Not only has he been forced to pay maintenance at twice the accepted rates, but he has had to spend tens of thousands to go back to court to obtain this justice. It’s just so wrong. The Courts are run for the benefit of lawyers and judges, not for the sake of fairness and justice.

The Government ought to act to bring greater clarity to the foolish judges who have neither common sense nor a sense of fairness.

Anon - October 30, 2015 at 1:06am

Read the case. He wasn’t paying any maintenece regardless of what it was set at he paid nothing at all hence why the arrears. You said maintence according to government is set between 15 to 20 percent but children are living in different homes and so the cma guidelines are actually 11 percent to each parent with a reduction in paying parents weekly income calculation of 14 percent. It looks like he paid to go back to court so he could carrying on paying nothing.

Luke - April 16, 2016 at 3:11pm

Anon, can you cite a source for your statement that he has paid nothing ? The Judge says he is in arrears – which is not the same thing.
.
At £60,000 the man in question is paying far too much – how such a mistake was made is extremely odd and worrying.
Based on what she has said I would speculate that Deputy District Judge Jane Drew who made the initial decision didn’t like the guy’s lifestyle and wrongly decided to punish him as a result.

Andrew - October 28, 2015 at 5:06pm

Costs of an appeal should follow the event and Calderbank should never have been abolished.

JamesB - October 28, 2015 at 5:44pm

Formula is actually 15 to 25%.

Not so sure on Calderbank. Personally I think all this arguing over costs is unseemly. So, think I disagree with you on that one Andrew for CM.

Not sure why he didn’t just go the the CSA / CMEC / CMS / CMOptions / whatever they are called as they overide court orders.

Perhaps there is a bit of information missing in this post which states any reduction will be made up by increased spousal maintenance. Which is what lawyers have been saying to get round the CSA / CMEC / CMS / CMOptions / whatever they are called dealing with these things.

Personally I think a formula based approach is ok, providing it is low and related to conduct and the woman should be in the poor house to apply for it.

Andy - December 5, 2015 at 8:17am

I agree with all comments made.
I also think that this case is an example of a high erning footballer paying so much that he could afgord to support his children.
I also note that courts and judges are working together as vommented on that to extract ad much finances for themselves ans after the court has made its final verdict they just have a friendly chat go down the pub all been paid wery well and tomorrow is another cash till result..
The actual prrson who took the case to court is left with debt for the rest of his life and of course will never recover from the ferse of this legal system..

Andy - December 5, 2015 at 8:18am

my phone is crap…

Gavin - April 15, 2016 at 11:01pm

The system is a shambles. I am left to pay more because it takes into account bonus. I haven’t had much bonus this year with a job change, yet have to pay as if I am earning more. After taking off rent and cms I do not have enough money.

k - March 9, 2017 at 8:43pm

the system is totally flawed and is only there for the mothers…I have a 16 year old daughter whos absent dad (his choice) who was paying csa at 131pm and I was ok with that then his payments suddenly stopped, I didn’t question this as I just wanted my daughter to have her dad in her life but after 14 years this will never happen. I now have another partner who we love dearly and have since had a baby, he has 3 other children by 2 different mothers. The first was a pshyco and the 2nd fraudendtly took him for 30k by taking out loans etc in his name even the guy she was having an affair with rented a flat in my partners name, my partner works away 5 days a week so wasn’t always home to keep tabs on her. Anyway he does earn a good wage but after 40% tax payments NI and pension we are not left with a lot but the csa feel its ok to take another 1200 off him. His other daughter for example to the csa is worth 270 plus the 20% collection fee and his 2 sons 600….plus a 20% collection fee on top of each boy. Now the csa say this is wat they need to help the mother raise the child but his resident dependant baby is only worth 40???? one mother has moved and now my partner cant see his boys but boasts about her “payrise” each year the csa review is done and the other has lovely 2 holidays per year 2 weeks at a time she has a partner and they both work full time. Me and my family cant afford 1 holiday we have just had to cancel the caravan holiday we booked due to lack of funds, I am unable to work as I have just has a long stay in hospital due to a stroke, and the 2nd mother has the audacity to ring my partner up for him to pay 100 towards a school trip and when he refuses she gives nothing but your such a bad dad etc, I mean wtf??? now he will have to work weekends so working now 7 days a week so he can put food on the table… The csa is a flawed and unjust system and should take BOTH parents income into consideration and be means tested i.e income and expenditure on both parties to make it fair, because if my partner was still with her their income would be classed as joint so they split all 50/50 so why not do the same in this instance? reason 1. the csa is a greedy fat corporate company which financially benefits from fathers 2. dads will always be considered less important to a childs life than of the mother therefore the mother will always be priority. I am a mum and have experienced this corrupt system on both angles, I have told my partner to get a solicitor and fight it because not enough stand up they just accept wat is and struggle on. No its not fair my family is suffering but they don’t give a dam, I feel bad because I resent his children for our circumstances and I do at times wish I didn’t meet someone with other children but he has to fight people need to fight the system because the next step will be quit work go on benefits…works for so many anyway and the benefits system is a subject I cant even begin to rant about ha

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