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Child Support: Law and Policy

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ISBN13: 9781841135328
ISBN: 1841135321
Published: October 2006
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £47.00



Despatched in 4 to 6 days.

Written by one of the UK's leading scholars of welfare law, this book analyses the current child support legislation in its broader historical and social context, synthesising both doctrinal and socio-legal approaches to legal research and scholarship. The book draws on the historical and legal literature on the Poor Law and the development of both the public and private law obligation of child maintenance.

Modern child support law must also be considered in the context of both social and demographic changes and in the light of popular norms about child maintenance liabilities. The main part of the book is devoted to an analysis of the modern child support scheme, and the key issues are addressed:-

  • the distinction between applications in 'private' and 'benefit' cases and the extent to which the courts retain a role in child maintenance matters;
  • the basis for, and the justification for, the exception from the obligation for parents with care on benefit to co-operate with the Child Support Agency where they fear 'undue harm or distress';
  • the assessment of income for the purposes of the formula and the evidential difficulties this entails;
  • the tension between the formula, which ignores the parent with care's income, and the demands of distributive justice;
  • the further conflict between the formula, under which liability is capped only for the very wealthy,
  • the traditional approach of private law, which is premised on children being entitled to maintenance rather than a share in family wealth;
  • the treatment of special cases under the formula by way of 'variations' (formerly 'departures');
  • the nature of decision-making and the scope for appeals;
  • the efficacy of the provisions relating to collection and enforcement.

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Subjects:
Family Law, Social Security and Welfare Law
Contents:
Part I
1. The Moral and Legal Basis for Child Support
2. The Child Maintenance Obligation and the Poor Law
3. The Child Maintenance Obligation in Private Law
4. The Child Maintenance Obligation in the Post-War Period
5. The Child Support Act 1991 and the Agency’s Troubled Early Years
6. Child Support—the International Perspective

Part II
7. Private Ordering, Child Maintenance and the Courts
8. The Personal and Territorial Scope of the Child Support Act 1991 2
9. Applying for Child Support
10. The Child Support Formula
11. Income and the Formula
12. Variations on the Formula
13. Complaints, Reviews and Appeals
14. Collection, Arrears and Enforcement

Part III
15. Conclusion: Child Support Compliance and Reform
Index