Backdating child maintenance
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They separated shortly after Luc’s birth and the father then had a further son after marrying and then later divorcing.At the time of this judgment he resided with a new partner and had fathered a third child.
Top-up maintenance The relationship between mother and father had lasted 4 years and they had a child in 2002, named Luc, but remained unmarried.
During the father’s divorce proceedings, Luc’s mother learnt that shares in one of the companies he had owned appeared to still belong to him, whereas during the 2005 maintenance proceedings he had alleged these were in his wife’s name.
The mother obtained disclosure of the husband’s financial position as he had been presenting it during divorce proceedings.
He failed to disclose these facts to the mother and, although he had made some small voluntary increases in child maintenance, these were not proportional to his increase in income and capital.
The mother had been unemployed for some time after sustaining injuries in a car accident.
This was largely due to the uncertainty of the financial positions of both parties and the fact that there would only be clarity as to their positions in the long-term.
In the meantime, even though an increased maintenance order would mean the father eating into his capital, this was considered preferable to reducingpayments to Luc: the interests of the child were paramount.
It may be possible for a “Christmas” order to be agreed between parties,which would have the effect of ensuring that the maintenance agreement was never more than 12 months old and therefore could not be subject to CSA assessment.
It is likely that where relations between parties are acrimonious, no agreement will be reached.
The father’s earnings had also increased consistently over the years since the original maintenance order, which had been based on a projected future salary of £150,000.
In addition, it was thought that he could expect significant capital growth in the future.
In delivering his judgment in this case Mr Justice Charles found that there had been inconsistences in the father’s account of his ownership of the company shares.