Agenda for the 21st Century
Child Support Agenda for the 21st Century
Parents should have equal status by default
Partners should know about paternity
All children should have been accepted children
Eliminate sex discrimination from child support
There should be no Treasury saving or state compulsion
Child support should be formally awarded to the children
Use a formula to determine the amount
Have closer ties between child support administration and family courts
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly
Household benefits/credits should not be treated as income
Amounts should relate to spend on children, not wealth
Also - Exclusions from the Agenda for the 21st Century
Also - A method of judging proposals
Also - International Agenda for the 21st Century
Related topic - Can Child Support Agencies ever work?
Related topic - The 21st Century is making the reformed scheme obsolete
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Eliminate sex discrimination from child support


This is not a discussion about whether the way Family Courts assign residency or access favours mothers. Nor is it about whether the CSA's culture is biased towards women.

There is there an explicit bias in the child support legislation in favour of mothers against fathers. (There may be more than one). It needs to be removed.


Does explicit sex bias in legislation matter? Decide for yourself.

Are there enough cases to worry about? Remember that for every one of the people adversely affected, they cannot get consolation in the fact that there aren't many of them. They are each affected 100%, for up to 18 years.

But what really matters is that this shows the biases and deep flaws in the UK's child support system. This bias (above) was known to ministers and law-makers at the time they wrote the law. They simply decided that it was at least acceptable, if not desirable.


Prefereably change the social security laws. Failing that, take the Child Benefit criterion out of the child support laws.


Relationship to other Agenda items
Parents should have equal status by default These items are obviously thwarted by any form of explicit sex discrimination in the child support system.
Use a symmetrical formula that treats both parents similarly
Other pages in this web site
2000 Act - sex discrimination in the child support law In summary:
  • all other things being equal, the person who receives Child Benefit is the one designated the parent with care (PWC), and hence receive child support from the other parent, who will therefore be designated non-resident parent (NRP)
  • all other things being equal, Child Benefit is allocated to wives (when the parents are married) or mothers (where they are not married)
Potential lobby groups
Families Need Fathers  
Other relevant external links
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Article 13. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular:

(a) The right to family benefits;

Father loses child benefit test case A father who wanted a share of the benefits his ex-wife receives for their child has lost his High Court test case. A judge rejected the claim by firefighter [X] that fathers separated from their wives should have the legal right to share child benefits with mothers if they played an equal role in caring for their children.

Claimed reply to a CSA form:
"I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my child as I was being sick out of a window when taken unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps."

Page last updated: 17 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003