Why do some fathers think they shouldn’t pay child maintenance?

family law

The four billion pound question*

Last week the single parent charity Gingerbread published a report in which it described how many parents avoided their liability for child maintenance, due to ‘loopholes’ in the system. Gingerbread acknowledged that not all of these parents were ‘maintenance dodgers’, reneging on the responsibility every parent has to contribute to their child’s upkeep, and that some were simply ‘taking advantage of the rules’. Even so, those parents are knowingly paying less than society expects them to pay.

For simplicity I will refer in this post to ‘fathers’ rather than ‘paying parents’, as obviously the vast majority of paying parents are fathers.

So the question, then, is: why do some fathers think they shouldn’t pay maintenance for their children, or that they shouldn’t pay the full amount? There are no doubt a myriad reasons, but these are the ones I’ve come up with:

1) Because they think the mother will use the money for themselves, rather than the children. If only I had a penny for every time I have heard this one. To give it some credit, I suppose there may be some mothers who may keep the maintenance separate from their other income and lavish it upon luxuries for themselves, whether cigarettes, alcohol, partying, or whatever. However, just how many mothers behave like this? I suspect very few. In the vast majority of cases the maintenance will mix with other income, which will be used to pay all of the mother’s outgoings, including food, clothing and other necessities for the children.

2) Because they disagree with the amount that they are required to pay. Of course, this can be a problem with a rigid formula. Sometimes the formula does get it wrong. However, the government did not just pick its figures out of thin air. The formula has been refined on a number of occasions, in an effort to make it fairer. I think it is generally accepted that in most cases the figure churned out by the formula is a reasonable one. I suspect that some fathers would just find any figure disagreeable.

3) Because they don’t have any contact with their children, and don’t see why they should pay anything. This linking of child maintenance and contact is another very common thing. Logically, of course, it makes no sense whatsoever, as the children still need to be maintained, whether they are seeing their father or not. Many is the time that a judge has had to explain to a father that maintenance and contact are two entirely separate issues.

4) Simply because they don’t like being told what to do. We all know someone like this: they refuse to accept authority, somehow feeling that they are above everyone else. No one will tell me what to do. Only I should decide what, if anything, I should pay for my child. The odd thing is that it is always less than the child maintenance formula would require them to pay. Of course, there is an option to being told what to do: agree the maintenance with the mother.

5) Because they think the system is biased against fathers. The old chestnut. The strange thing is that in all the years I have been reading the enormous (and ever-growing) volume of statutes, rules and cases on child support/maintenance, never have I found anything that says that fathers should be treated less fairly than mothers. The simple fact is that, as I stated above, the vast majority of paying parents are fathers. This is not because of any bias in the law, it is because that is the way society works. But even then, how can it be said that requiring fathers to pay a fair contribution to the maintenance of their children is biased? Shouldn’t both parents pay a fair contribution, calculated by reference to their means?

6) And finally, the big one: to spite, or ‘get back’ at the mother. Oblivious, of course, to the fact that their own children will also suffer.

Now, all of the above is not just an exercise in ‘father bashing’ (although no doubt there will be some who will take it that way). I think if we are ever to get to the bottom of the ‘problem’ of child maintenance, we need to understand exactly why some fathers (and, yes, some paying mothers too) believe that they should not have to pay what society (via the government) considers they should reasonably pay and, more to the point, why they think their liability to maintain their children ends when their relationship with the other parent ends. If we understand the reasons, then perhaps we can begin to address them, and educate parents accordingly. Maybe then we might have a child maintenance system that actually works.

*£4 billion being the amount that the Child Support Agency failed to collect.

Photo by Andrew Gustar via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

John Bolch

John Bolch often wonders how he ever became a family lawyer. He no longer practises, but has instead earned a reputation as one of the UK's best-known family law bloggers.

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Paul Apreda - July 5, 2017 at 4:47pm

Thank God that John no longer practices as a lawyer in the Family Courts!
If he bothered to read my article about the injustice of the current Child Maintenance system he would at least be informed.
1. the threshold for compulsory payments being deducted is an income of £7 PER WEEK
2. the threshold for paying 17% of your GROSS income for ONE child is £100 per week – £5,200 pa
3. the ‘standard rate’ for paying maintenance kicks in at an income of £200 per week i.e less than the rate at which Income Tax starts to be paid.
If Marilyn Stowe LLP are going to ask people to write posts like this can they at least find someone who has some understanding of the concept of ‘evidence’!
(*Commented edited by the moderators: please see our policy here).

Christine Davies - July 7, 2017 at 9:43am

Paul: The £100 and £200 thresholds that you refer to were set in 1998 and have not been uprated since. No wonder some non-resident parents cannot pay. In 2000 (the intended year of introduction of the 2003 Scheme) £100 corresponded to 30 hours at the national minimum wage (NMW) – it now corresponds to 14 hours. £200 corresponded to 35 hours at TWICE the NMW – the equivalent threshold today would be a weekly gross income of £504.

Christine Davies - July 7, 2017 at 10:49am

Paul: It is even worse, of course, if there is more than one child. On passing the £100 a week threshold, the increase in maintenance for 3 children is 31% of additional gross income. If the non-resident parent (NRP) says he cannot afford to pay, 20% is added and 37.2p is deducted direct from wages for each extra £1 earned.How is a low-earning NRP supposed to survive?

On the 2003 Scheme it is even worse – on passing the £100 threshold (3 children) 45p in each extra £1 earned is due in child maintenance. No wonder there are huge arrears and desperate NRPs.

Andrew - July 5, 2017 at 5:00pm

“Many is the time that a judge has had to explain to a father that maintenance and contact are two entirely separate issues.”
And vice versa to a mother who says “No contact till he starts paying”.
If we really believed that contact was desirable the cost of travel – train or mileage by car – would be deductible from maintenance; or to put it another way we would treat money spent on travelling for contact as being spent for the benefit of the children. If the RP moved further away and the cost rose the balance of mantenance due would fall. If she, usually she, wants to take them to another country – which is far too readily allowed – the entire maintenance might be diverted to the airfare, and if she really thinks moving will be fore the children’s benefit she will be content with that.

Peter - July 5, 2017 at 5:12pm

I feel that you are goading fathers to enable you to respond with a “I told you so” reponse. Whilst many of the points that you have raised are valid the issue is set within a wider context of family law and one in which there is little appetite to change. Family law is outdated and not fit for purpose. Few fathers would not want to make sure that their kids are provided for financially. The issue is exacerbated by a system which is not willing to reform for many reasons. Yes there are bad fathers out there. It is not right to generalise and ignore the complex myriad of issues that have got us to this place.

Andrew - July 5, 2017 at 5:26pm

And at the risk of sounding like a needle stuck in the groove: there are usually other creditors too.
What is needed is some method of sharing out what there is pro rata, creditors (including the RP) being obliged to accept their share in satisfaction. And there is no logical reason why arrears of CM and SM (and lump sum orders) should not be bankruptcy debts too: that is what bankruptcy is for. SM and lump sum debts being postponed for dividend until the outsiders’ debts are paid in full.

Paul - July 5, 2017 at 6:03pm

Lol. How can you say thats not an attempt at father bashing ??? How ?? Seriously ?
The way you constantly articulate these things to exhonerate you and your faturnity of wrong doing is rediculous. You have a bizarre perspective. As a man in a profession who is supposed to value evidence why do you not value the perspective of men with personal experience of the child support system ?
A: Not many fathers beleive these things. That is a miss conception.
B: You stated their that its right that ‘both’ parents should be responsible for raising children. This is true. Most men agree with that. THAT IS NOT HOW CHILD SUPPORT IS IMPLIMENTED. It was a stupid statement.
If I turned around to the CMS and said im happy to pay exactly the same as my ex.
What do you think they would say ?
My son is 14. My ex has not worked since he was born. How much do you think she has contributed to my Son ? – How much have I and her new partner(credit where credit is due) paid towards my son ?
Realistically. She has taken X amount from the state, X amount from her new squeeze. An contributed exactly NOTHING to the systems and processes which bend over backwards to support her. Aka a pool of tax money. Which I have paid into. So if im paying tax. I have already made a segnificant contribution towards my kids.
C. If the rates which you pay child support were fair and reasonable. MOST men would be happy to pay to see their kids happy.
D: The CMS are utterly incompetant bastards. I don’t want to expand on that. Because i would type all day.
They take the perspective you have. Up their. An apply it to ALL MEN. You are treated as a bill dodging arse hole from the minute they are involved. They treat you like scum.
They are another reason you missed off your list.
E: One persons income now, in most jobs is not enough to support a Man and Family.
We no longer are part of a neuclear family system where Father can support a family.
Most men will be means tested to be on minimum wage/minimum income. We know from studies this is not enough to raise a family. Thats a fact. That is why we have a child benifit system so effectively a child gets a wage of their own.
7: Men did not design this minimum wage system. We have to live with in it. If we could move back to a system where we earn enough to support a family and the jobs market supported that. I think most men would be happier with that.

8. Child support is not natural. If a lioness walked away from the pride and took her cubs with her. Would the lion be expected to bring them a dead animal to eat ?
Laws which rule against human nature and the way humans naturally behave will never succeed. This feeling of something been not right is clearly what leads to the statements above. This is one capitalist construct too many for men clearly.

9. The whole idea is a capitalist contruct. Its designed to SAVE THE STATE MONEY.
Its not designed to support kids.
Reality is it costs the state money.
They need a better solution. MP’s won’t touch it with a barge pole. Because its a potentially career ending white elephant.
Everyone knows we need a better solution.

You have made very inaccurate claims here. To be fair you most often see men in vitriolic situations why the arguement is at is rawest. Men do make silly statements when they are hyped up. Often angry at predudicial decissions made in the court.

You again seem to be claiming that men are claiming that family courts are not bias. They are just percieved that way by men.
Thats not true. There is imperial evidence that the system is Bias. Its indisputable. Could you please start acknowledging this as a fact. Everyone. Men and women accept this as the truth. If you wish to challenge me to prove this in court I am 100% sure it would be very easy. Name the court. Name the venue. I have no legal training or knowledge. Give me time to colate evidence i will happily litagate against you if you would defend the courts on charges of been sexist and discriminatory. I beleive the evidence is unsirmountable against the family courts.

Why will you just not accept a fact ?

Dr Grumpy - July 5, 2017 at 6:20pm

I’m sorry but if a mother prevents a father from seeing their child without good reason or a court order then why should he be made to pay? In many cases mothers use contact as a way of punishing the father and the courts police social workers CAFCASS stand idly by! I don’t agree that contact and maintenance are not connected they are sides of the same coin!

Andy - July 5, 2017 at 7:25pm

The Author takes great delight in stiring the pot on this subject, as he says “this old chestnut”Well Mr Author, We wonder how you ever became a Legal advisor and thank god you not practising..perhaps can you tell the audience how much salary you were on when practicing??? Pretty much above the working man’s salary of today and of course you would dodge paying as well…
Clearly pro the Mother…
I’ll say this and say it again..Gingerbread are running the government and any out of this world policy they make up is then auctioned…
So the heading statement is…”Gingerbread are demanding more out of paying Fathers”…

spinner - July 5, 2017 at 8:07pm

This is a pretty exhaustive list
1) Introduce accountability for the mothers spending. If there are any concerns and if they are true only the children suffer so a check against some predefined rules for how the money is spent would suffice.
2) Then campaign to change the formula, I think it’s pretty fair.
3) Just as we have as a starting point 50:50 shared financials we need 50:50 shared care and then if there is any reason to a judge can decide to deviate from what should be the absolute norm. This will resolve so many problems in so many areas and reduce the likelihood of the result being no contact with the father which at the moment is alarmingly high. It’s very easy to say there shouldn’t be a link between contact and payment and you can “explain” it as much as you like, in most people’s mind there is.
4) This is going to be a fraction of a percentage of people but if this is the actual reason then clearly they need to grow up.
5) Lol the system clearly is biased against fathers but if you resolve 1) and 3) you would automatically reduce a lot of the current institutional bias there is in the family law system against fathers.
6) Again if this is the reason then they need to grow up and have no sympathy with them.

Yvie - July 6, 2017 at 7:34am

For fathers on a low wage it is unrealistic to expect them to pay child maintenance based on a percentage of gross income without taking living costs into account. For fathers on much higher incomes, the percentage charge is less of an issue. In the real world, for many fathers, even those on low incomes, paying the required rate of child maintenance does not actually mean the father has paid his contribution. Far from it, when sharing care, fathers need to buy shoes, clothes, toys and games etc, the children need to be taken for days out when affordable, and they also need spending money when they are a little bit older so that they can enjoy time out with their friends. This can often be substantial, as even something like the cinema and McDonalds afterwards can cost up to £15. For fathers on low incomes this can be a real struggle, as most want to do their best for their children and do not want them to miss out.

Articles from organisations such as Gingerbread who present a one sided story of hard pressed mothers, who incidentally may have re-married and may earn far more than the hard pressed fathers, are not really helpful in addressing the failings of the child maintenance service. The majority of fathers do pay their child maintenance but this is never identified by Gingerbread, who seem unable or unwilling to present a balanced report.

Lynne - July 6, 2017 at 7:34am

Hmm, full of opinion and very little substance or data to back it up. Just as the Gingerbread piece allegedly based only on rich self employed men managed to tarnish fathers in general,this one appears to be based on random thoughts (in the middle of the night?). “There are no doubt a myriad reasons, but these are the ones I’ve come up with:” – sounds like someone was keen to get their personal opinion on a hot topic in print!.

Ian - July 6, 2017 at 7:35am

The snout to pay has been refined? Load of old cobblers. The cms called me about fictions arrears (I’ve all ways paid) and told me unless I paid them £500 that day they would start enforcement action against me. They allowed me no time to investigate these arrears. And despite my ex telling them repeatedly there are no arrears. (She has now changed her mind as cms have persuaded her to collect) they won’t acknowledge this and demand nearly half my wages a month. There a absolute joke causing untold misery to many fathers and putting family’s on the bread line. FACT

Andrew - July 6, 2017 at 9:29am


This is a very poorly reasoned and inflammatory post. Why do you insist on turning the issue into one of gender (other than to stir up argument)?

Firstly, the “report” you mention from Gingerbread did not describe how “many” parents avoided liability. In fact, it highlighted 5 parents. To put this into perspective there were 322,800 open CMS cases at 31-5-17 (https://tinyurl.com/yd2nwywo) which is 0.0015% of the total CMS caseload. No other figures were provided in the report as to the scale of the “problem” other than unsubstantiated inferences that all self employed people are neglecting their children.

Looking at your post in a wider context you say early on that “obviously the vast majority of paying parents are fathers”, later on however you say that the reason for this is that it is “because that is the way society works”. What exactly did you mean by this statement? You talk of “fair contribution” but don’t offer a definition of “fair”? Is over 100% of gross income “fair”? Is it “fair” that in the event a parent makes a unilateral decision to put extreme distance between the other parent and their child that they should have to pay more maintenance (due to seeing the child less – there is a link by the way, it’s in the 2012 Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations) and suffer the increased and crippling cost of travel which is “accounted for” by a formula that allows 2p a mile in travel cost. Is that “fair”.

Your article was extremely offensive and ill thought out and I’m surprised that the editor saw fit to publish it without the caveat that freedom of speech also allows freedom to express offensive and ill reasoned guff.

James - July 6, 2017 at 12:23pm

John, seriously, for a well educated and experienced Family lawyer you do talk utter nonsense at times.

My ex prevents me from seeing my kids, the law allows her to do this.

I am forced to pay financial support, no issues there, I pay more than two times what the CMS stated voluntarily. Failure to pay anything is a prosecution.

I reported my ex for offenses under s76 Serious Crime Act 2015. The Police refuse to investgate because I am a man, they refused to even see written evidence.

To support my children live in a caravan as I cannot afford to rent a normal home and then pay council tax etc.

My ex gets tax credits etc etc and works part time. Financially she is more than£1000 a month better off than I am. I eat every few days to save money and since March I have lost 1/3rd of my body mass.

Now tell me the system is fair and unbiased.

Please, do some actual research before posting utter tosh in future.

JamesB - July 6, 2017 at 2:59pm

Its political correctness gone mad.

Paul - July 6, 2017 at 6:40pm

What I see here on this thread are very reasonable, rational men (and YVie) argiculating their conserns well. If reasonable right thinking men can be collectively villified and issolated from their children like this tells me the law is badly wrong. I can tell from the way these men articulate that everyone here would make a possative contribution to their kids lives. A system which seeks to stop them doing so has ZERO moral credibility. The law on place is quite simply an act of state tyrany !!
This is the reason why the Americans have a fifth amendment. The state is taking kids kids away from us for NO REASON. Or for reasons of RANSOM. I feel like if we wish to see changes we need more than just words. John is a soliciter who just laughs our concerns off.
These soliciters are making a living out of this tyrany. They are effectively abducting our kids for ransom.
They know that any change to this system which would be better for families will be bad for business. I fear we are wasting our words and insight on the very pharasees who seek to prophet from our misery.
(*Comment edited by the moderators)

Cameron Paterson - July 6, 2017 at 6:44pm

Paul: it is worth remembering that John retired from practice several years ago. He is no longer a solicitor, just a legal blogger and commentator. Furthermore solicitors do not decide which parent a child should or shouldn’t live with, as I’m sure you’re aware. They simply represent parties within those disputes

Paul - July 6, 2017 at 7:30pm

Thats not escaped me Cameron. But he is an advocate of the system in place. A system which has not changed since he profited from it. If anything it has got more discriminatory against fathers. The level of exploitation and equality has got worse since the abolition of legal aid. He is clearly attacking fathers and victims of this state tyrany. Mustering support for a system which is destroying lives. Taking the perspective of practicing legal professionals and trying to ram it down the throat of people who have had their lives smashed by this system that does not work.
Even though by his own admission this has killed a father who was on his case load.
That is astonishing to me.
However. If a man tells me he is a retired soldier. To me he is a Soldier.
If a man tells me he is a retired sailor. To me he is a sailor. An I would respect them as such. An if I had an issue with the way soldiers worker for the last ten years. I do not feel like its wrong to hold retired servicemen in part responsible.
You can’t devorce yourself from professional responsability by retiring or changing vocation. If you have been a willing part of the problem. Then you are responsible. No ??- his commentry is always ‘flawed’ and always in defence of a defunct system which is causing harm.
I also am not a solicter.

Paul - July 6, 2017 at 7:37pm

This is also Marlyns website. A website targeted towards legal professionals and other interested parties no ?

Andy - July 6, 2017 at 6:48pm

To all concerned..I have read the posts with great interest and all very valued points the fact of the matter is we need to do something about it.
Take all your energy such as written voice and take action in true strength to pressure the system in to cracking…
CMS are incompetent we all know this but under staffed case workers are pretty and only can read off per written questions also if you challenge them on the phone you just get the usual we will ring you back…hahaha..that old one..Too difficult box ticked…
I’m no Arther Scargil..if spelt correct but small voices lead to one big voice…suppose we all decided to pay one single payment every week..regardless of how much you earn rather what the robbing CMS state..What can they do…nothing as we are paying but not refusing to pay…
As prior comments have said how come,9,16,20%
Of you salary is paid straight to your ex and she or he can earn What they like is that correct and still receive benefits..my ex salary for 33 hrs a week and then found out extra part time work with additional £140.00 to £200.00 equal to £2200 or £2500.00 per month then child allowance of £140.00. Then tax credits of £331.00 per month then my CMS contribution of £510.00 per month..
So she is hard done by eh!!!! And no tax to pay on benefits received also child maintenance but Father pays the tax Gross Calculation..
That’s why is the answer to it all.
So would Fathers pay if that was what they found out..this is my case but it runs the same for all Fathers dealing with the CMS.and idiots alike.

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 12:07am

Re. I think it is generally accepted that in most cases the figure churned out by the formula is a reasonable one.

No, it is not. Who do you think you are talking for the world? Walter Mittey perhaps.

Having studied it extensively, the figures were pulled out of thin air by brainstorming lunatic feminists. 15% for 1, 20% for 2, and 25% for 3 or more children. There was no research or consultation or studying behind it, they just blamed whom they called ‘deadbeat Dad’s and stuck it to them. Even Marilyn resigned from them because they lack credibility.

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 5:05pm

re : Having studied it extensively, the figures were pulled out of thin air by brainstorming lunatic feminists

I meant I studied it extensively, not them. They did the wet finger in the air on a whim thing and, like dodgy family law judges tried after the decision to justify it with BS. Much like John in the article.

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 12:10am

Oh, the rest of John’s post was nonsense as well. I could go into why and take it to pieces bit by bit again, but he doesn’t listen and is a shock jock and have said it all before. It’s political correctness gone mad.

Cameron Paterson - July 7, 2017 at 9:48am

James – please take another look at our moderation policy here, in particular bullet point four

Yvie - July 7, 2017 at 8:31am

Perhaps John is looking for something useful to do in his retirement so he has decided to play Devil’s Advocate and wind up the long suffering dads who contribute to this site. However he needs to remember that articles such as the one from Gingerbread are a slur on the good name of the many handworking fathers who pay child maintenance regularly for the upkeep of their children.

Christine Davies - July 7, 2017 at 8:55am

Wow, where do I start?

John’s reason 2: ” I think it is generally accepted that in most cases the figure churned out by the formula is a reasonable one.”

Sorry, John, the formula simply does not work for those on low income – many non-resident parents (NRPs) just cannot afford the assessed child maintenance AND THIS IS KNOWN at all levels including tribunal judges.

There has not been much significant change “to make things fairer”. The 2012 Scheme is basically the same as the 2003 Scheme, but with different percentages because of the change to gross income rather than net income. The thresholds to protect low earners still have the values given to them in 1998 – hard to believe but true. The structure of the Schemes means that some NRPs are worse off for every hour they work – they are better off unemployed.

John’s point 5: “Shouldn’t both parents pay a fair contribution, calculated by reference to their means?”

Yes, indeed, John, but the formula makes no reference to the means of the TWO parents. The parent with care (PWC) can be a millionaire and the NRP living below the poverty line but the latter still has to pay.

John’s point 6: “And finally, the big one: to spite, or ‘get back’ at the mother. Oblivious, of course, to the fact that their own children will also suffer.”

Perhaps in some cases, but PWCs also claim child maintenance through the CMS for the same reason – they know the NRPs cannot pay but want to punish them. “Oblivious of course” to the fact that the damage to dad also damages the children.

John’s concluding comments: “I think if we are ever to get to the bottom of the ‘problem’ of child maintenance, we need to understand … If we understand the reasons, then perhaps we can begin to address them …. Maybe then we might have a child maintenance system that actually works.”

I totally agree, John. I’ve been telling Government ministers of the problems since 2011 and action is well overdue. My submissions CHM 0079 and CHM 0098 to the recent Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry provide a beginning to “understand the reasons” for many of the difficulties. http://data.parliament.uk/WrittenEvidence/CommitteeEvidence.svc/EvidenceDocument/Work%20and%20Pensions/Child%20maintenance%20services/written/39518.html

Yvie - July 7, 2017 at 10:51am

Government ministers are well aware of the unfair child maintenance system so why do they not address this. No-one will put their head above the parapet for fear of upsetting the strong feminist movements and organisations such as Women’s Aid and Gingerbread. The fact that thousands of low paid fathers are forced into debt or an impoverish lifestyle is quite irrelevant. Even the fact that fathers have taken their own lives has no real impact on them,

James Franklin - July 7, 2017 at 1:23pm

Perhaps what is required is an investigation to find out exactly what the cost is for the average child.

Example…per week
Food. £30
Energy and Home. £50

So we have an average weekly cost of £95 for a child. Now divide in 2, gives £47.50 per week for each parent.

Now lets assume RP recieves benefits of £40 that relates specifically to that child. Therefore this £40 should come off the £95 leaving the parental cost for the child at £55 per week. Divide this between the parents, each parent then contributes £27.50 for that child.

For subsequent children the cost should be the same for food and clothing but only £10 for energy related costs, home costs do not change as a result of the number in residence.

Clearly, each parents financial position must be taken into account, and this should be net of reasonable living costs for rent, mortgage, food, energy, council tax and costs to commute too and from work.

Appreciate the right figures need to be researched and a proper consultation completed, but if we fail to do this it is simply children who suffer… and the whole point is to ensure they have a happy, stable, productive life and relationship with both parents.

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 5:10pm

For a quick and dirty cost effective improvement:

Scrap it and adopt the Danish system.

For the best system, scrap it and move it back to the courts, and legalise prenups.

There, not rocket science. Government are making and have made a right bloody mess out of it because they aren’t very good on this subject and should have left it well alone.

I still think John should state his own personal situation and if he has ever paid child maintenance himself or for children he has lived with as it is usually useful to see where people are coming from. Its hard to judge someone without walking a mile in their shoes, this doesn’t seem to stop him and without him stating his circumstances he lays himself open to the abuse he decries.

Its political correctness gone mad.
(*Comment edited by the moderators)

Cameron Paterson - July 7, 2017 at 6:17pm

I can’t help but notice James, that you have developed a sudden fondness for the phrase “it’s political correctness gone mad”

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 6:26pm

Well, seems people like soundbites and shallow quick rules and answers without having to think.

It’s political correctness gone mad.

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 6:28pm

It’s like we need strong and stable government. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! It’s political correctness gone mad.

Andrew - July 8, 2017 at 11:10am

“For the best system, scrap it and move it back to the courts”


“and legalise prenups”

Right between spouses – not as regards children. They are not party to the prenup and cannot be bound by it.

JamesB - July 7, 2017 at 6:33pm

Like John Bolch’s regurgitated ‘deadbeat Dad’ bashing comments. It’s political correctness gone mad.

Paul - July 8, 2017 at 11:22am

It should only be the governments remit to make sure you kids are not in poverty. To make sure they are on the same income as you comes down to personal responsability and negociated settlement between parents.They have introduced a system were you now have to negociate with your expartner. But if you expartner chooses not to negociate then she can take 20-30% of your income anyway by force. So what incentive does Mrs X have to negociate a fair settlement ?
Its beyond idiotic.

David Lee - July 11, 2017 at 11:34pm

These are the reasons that the Government (AKA Gingerbread) want the unaffected gullible (in their estimation) general public to believe therefore categorising all NRP’s with arrears are “wealthy avoiders” (of which there are actually very few as the costs of avoidance far outweigh the maintenance that would be due) who could & should pay their share of the £4bn.This diverts public attention, scrutiny & outrage from the factual truth that the single greatest reason for default & non payment of Child Maintenance is simply “USER EXPERIENCE” of the supposed Child Support SERVICE. Their unacceptable level of mistakes, lies, sharp practice, total disregard for the law & apparent lack of transparency or accountability in the end simply causes large numbers of NRP’s ,who started out quite willing to contribute towards their children’s welfare, to put their income & assets, as far as is possible, beyond the reach of the CSA/CMS, stop paying & disengage themselves from the shambles of their incompetence simply to survive & maintain their sanity. The whole system needs to be rethought & this is what Gingerbread should be fighting for. As it is their actions & articles such as this are counter productive & are simply making things worse by perpetuating these myths & covering up the real reason that the whole debacle is “not fit for purpose

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