UK Family Law Reform

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CSA fiasco 8th July 2007

A dad jailed for non-payment of child support has been freed to make an appeal

A barrister jailed for refusing to pay £42,000 child support in a stand against the system today declared a "victory for common-sense and equality'' after he was released from prison.

Michael Cox, 43, was granted bail so he can appeal. He was jailed last week after admitting not paying arrears to ex-wife Lesley Peach - mum to his 16-year-old son and twin boys aged 13.

He argued the law was at fault but was sentenced to 42 days in prison after he refused to pay £365 a month to the CSA, which claimed he was an absent parent. This is despite Mr Cox looking after his children at weekends so his ex-wife could work.

Cox, of Hythe, Hants, will now take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

CSA debacle

Since it was established in 1993, the Child Support Agency has consistently underperformed.

By October 2006, one in four applications for maintenance received by the Agency since 2003 were still waiting to be cleared, there was a backlog of a quarter of a million cases waiting to be processed, and around 36,000 cases were simply stuck in the system.

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