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Jail Time for Non-Payment of Child Maintenance Kirsten Grotte explains

It has recently been reported in the Independent that there has been an increase in the numbers of fathers going to prison for not paying child maintenance.This has led to much criticism that the punishment of serving time is disproportionate to the ‘crime’ of missing child maintenance payments. This therefore leads to the added problems that fathers will not be available for child care and that it will be the child who suffers in the end for not being able to see their father.

Other sanctions could be considered, such as those used within court contact orders, whereby if the child is not made available for contact by the resident parent in accordance with the order, then the resident parent will be in breach and could be fined or asked to carry out unpaid work. Perhaps these sanctions could be considered first, before committal to prison if the debts are that serious.