... has the Child Support Agency become too punitive?
Lying about income, assigning assets to a new partner and changing jobs to avoid deduction-from-earnings orders are common tactics for men seeking to escape child support obligations. The Child Support Agency has until recently lacked the firepower to counter such dodges. But the tables have turned and solicitors and MPs say that most of the complaints they now get about the agency come from non-resident fathers shocked at its punitive approach.
Almost 70,000 earnings deduction orders were taken out in 2008-09, at rates of up to 40% of pay; some 30 men have been imprisoned for non-payment and 500 given suspended sentences. In one case, a family received a record single arrears payment of £57,000 after the agency took a legal charge on the father's new property.
Full story Source The Guardian 10 May 2009