A “well-known” professional football player has successfully challenged the amount of child maintenance he had been required to pay.
The 32 year-old had previously been ordered to hand over £2500 per month for each of his two children, which meant his annual bill came to £60,000. At the time, he played for a club in the Championship – the second highest division in English football – but following the club’s relegation to a lower league at the end of last season, his contract came to an end.
He subsequently appealed against the child maintenance order, arguing that he no longer had an income.
At the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Mr Justice Mostyn said the initial judge had concluded that the father’s earning capacity was around £190,000 a year, so the amount specified in the child maintenance order represented 31.5 per cent of his overall income. This was “almost exactly double the rate” usually set for these cases, the judge noted.
The judge said that such a large amount should “be clearly justified”, but that the original order failed to do so. Consequently, he ruled that the order be set aside and re-examined by the initial judge.
In the meantime, Mr Justice Mostyn made an interim order that the father should pay £15,200 per year for each child. He added that these payments would begin two months from the date of his judgment so the father would have “a small breathing space in this period when he is out of work”.
While the judge claimed he was unable to make final orders in this case because he did not have enough evidence to do so, he urged the father and mother to consider accepting his temporary order as a final one. He added that if the parents could not come to an agreement on child maintenance, mediation could be the best course of action.
To read Re TW & TM (Minors), click here.
Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr