Family lawyers urge government to rethink

26 Jan 2009

As the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill is debated in Parliament, family law group Resolution is calling for an urgent rethink on draconian punitive measures on child support.

The Bill gives powers to civil servants to confiscate the driving licence or passport of individuals who they believe are behind with their child maintenance payments without the need to obtain a Court Order.

Chair of Resolution’s Child Support committee Kim Fellowes said: “We agree with the government’s aim that all parents meet their pastoral and financial responsibilities toward their children. However it is well known that the administration of child support in this country is riddled with errors and bureaucratic failures. Until the system is fixed, running smoothly and has public confidence there can be no justification for not allowing a right to challenge such draconian measures in the courts.

“This measure was rejected by Parliament when the Government tried to include it in a review of the child support system last year. It is incredible that they are now seeking to reintroduce it in the context of a new Bill entirely, and we urge them to reconsider.”


Resolution is an association of 5500 lawyers, campaigning for fair family law and working for the constructive resolution of family problems.

Kim Fellowes is a Director in the Newcastle-based law firm Dickinson Dees LLP. She has been involved in child support work since 1993 and during 2006 -2007 has been extensively involved in child support reform, meeting with Lord Hunt and Lord McKenzie of the Departments of Work and Pensions and Constitutional Affairs. Kim was also called to give evidence to the Work and Pensions select committee on child support matters and gave parliamentary briefing to the House of Commons and House of Lords during the passage of the legislation.


For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Teresa Richardson: 0207 357 9215; 07894 981 020 or

Leonora Merry: 0207 407 0827; 07971 300 024 or

Kim Fellowes: 0191 279 9287