Lords rule on Smith and Smith and SSW&P

12 Jul 2006

Commenting on the ruling, Andrew Greensmith, chairman of the campaigning family lawyers group Resolution, said: "This case is yet another example of the havoc and misery that the CSA has brought to the lives of ordinary people. Cases like this could be sorted quickly and easily by the courts.

“Resolution is pressing the government to make some simple changes that will radically improve the system - including giving the court the power to set child support levels, within the CSA guidelines, where it is already dealing with a couple's other financial matters.

“We’d also like to see the link between over night stays and child support payments severed, and we want an amnesty for couples who can agree their own arrears settlements, to help clear the backlog of old cases.”

Says Kim Fellowes, of Resolution’s CSA task force: “It is a bureaucratic nonsense that the courts can have all the details about the family’s financial circumstances in front of them but not be able to make a ruling about what child support payments are made. There is a simple formula to follow, and no reason why the courts shouldn’t impose it, where they are already involved.”

Resolution has produced its own set of recommendations on how the CSA should be reformed to meet the needs of children and families. A copy has been provided to David Henshaw, who is tasked with reshaping the agency, and Resolution has met with groups from each of the major political parties to press its case for change.