Divorced fathers must give cash, even to rich mothers

A RADICAL shake-up of child-support rules could be "a cash bonanza for house-husbands", a leading divorce lawyer says.

But the proposed change could hit poor men the most.

A proposed new formula for calculating contributions to a child's upkeep after a break-up no longer takes account of a woman's wealth. Instead, working fathers would pay a fixed percentage contribution, whatever their overall income.

If they have just one child, a basic 15 per cent of their net pay would go towards maintenance, rising incrementally depending on the number of children.

It is also proposed that the current "cap" on a father's contribution be abolished. For three or more children, a father would have to pay 25 per cent.

For example, under the formula, dancer Jimmy Gulzar, estranged husband of pop star Scary Spice, would have to pay her pounds 4,500 of his estimated pounds 30,000 income for their child, although the star is reputed to earn pounds 3m a year. Mick Jagger would pay Jerry Hall 25 per cent of net income for their four children, despite her wealth.

Solicitor Toby Yerburgh, a former member of Prince Charles's divorce team, said: "At the moment, where the wife is rich, the husband can comfort himself that he will not have to pay too much in the way of maintenance for the children, as under the Child Support Act formula the wives' earnings are taken into account."

He warned: "Men who marry rich women, like Scary Spice, whose marriage appears to be on the rocks, may find themselves in for a nasty surprise when it all goes wrong, especially when there are children involved."

The new rules, which are expected to be introduced next year, are the subject of a Department of Social Services consultation paper, will do away with a complex formula involving 200 variables for calculating child- maintenance. Mr Yerburgh said lawyers believed house-husbands could be in for a "cash bonanza". A man who looks after the children will receive up to 25 per cent of the mother's pay.

But Tanya Roberts, a Child Support Act specialist at law firm Charles Russell, was concerned about the changes. "

The new system will be arbitrary with a dad's salary being a straight percentage going towards the maintenance of each child,"she said. "In that sense it may not be fairer." She also felt the loss of the maximum limit to the size of the contribution could mean fathers potentially paying massive and unrealistic amounts of money in support of their children.

"At the beginning the concept of the Child Support Act was good. The difficulty has always been in the way it has been used in practice. Over the last few years the system has been improved by various changes that have come into effect. Now it seems we are starting again."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

Newly Qualified Teachers

£90 - £115 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently looking fo...

Year 3/4 Teacher

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Job Share Year 3/4 Teacher...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments