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Family law: Child support dodgers' excuses revealed

While most parents are willing to care for their children financially, there are some who try to avoid paying child support and the Child Support Agency has revealed some of the worst excuses.

One maintenance-dodging father was a footballer, earning £4,000 a week. He claimed he couldn't pay child maintenance because he had to pay for the upkeep of his Ferrari.

Another responsibility-shirking father complained that he had forked out for his ex-partner's cosmetic surgery. He said: "I paid for her breast enhancement and her new boyfriend is getting the benefit. I'm not paying child maintenance on top."


A man who had undergone a sex change argued that as he was no longer a man, he was not the person who fathered his children and therefore should not have to pay for them.

One father went so far as to pretend that he no longer existed because he had entered "the witness protection programme".

Other excuses included having to take a pet ostrich to the vet, having already paid for sweets so further money should not be required, their wage slips and letters from the CSA were eaten by the dog and that they shouldn't have to pay because the child was so ugly it couldn't possibly be theirs.

Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller said: "Most parents do what's right for their children but, as these ridiculous excuses show, there is still a hardcore trying to avoid paying what they owe. Our reforms will support parents to make their own family-based arrangements and free up the state service to chase those who refuse to co-operate."

Avoiding paying child support can have serious financial repercussions. The CSA have powers to find maintenance-dodgers and take money direct from their wages.

They can take their case to court and then seize assets, freeze assets and monies owed to the individual, affect potential transfers and sales of property and assets, force individuals to sell property, confiscate driving licences and even send them to prison.

Related links:
Read more on the story (Press Association)
Read an overview of child maintenance (FindLaw)
Find local family solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)