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Y v Secretary of State for Works and Pensions (Child Maintenance Service) [2021] EWFC B40

28th July 2021

Judgment: The father appealed, on the basis that he was incorrectly treated as a "non-resident" parent for the purposes of s 3(2) of the Child Support Act 1991, against a regular deduction order made under s 32A of the same act, in accordance with the Child Support (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/1989), relating to alleged arrears of £2,519.86 that had allegedly arisen between 2007 and 2015. Despite repeated notices being sent to the Child Maintenance Service and, later, to the Secretary of State, there had been no response at all from the Service or from the Secretary of State. HHJ Wildblood QC accepted the father's evidence that the children had spent more time living with him during the relevant period; he had nothing from the respondents to contradict it or to explain their reasoning. On the basis of that unchallenged evidence before him, he accepted that the appeal had to be allowed for the reasons advanced by the father. He did so, and set aside the deduction order. An order for costs was made against the Secretary of State, and the sums already paid to the Service under the deduction order were to be repaid forthwith. The father asked the judge to publish the judgment to record the difficulties that he had encountered in securing a resolution of the issue.