30th May 2014

James Pirrie of Family Law in Partnership interviewed by LexisNexis

James comments on the possible consequences of the decision in Hakki in relation to child support

Hakki v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2014] EWCA Civ 530 concerned whether a professional gambler was obliged to pay child support maintenance. The Court of Appeal held that the gambler did not have sufficient organisation in his poker playing to make it amount to an trade or business.

James, a renowned child support specialist at Family Law in Partnership, noted that the case highlights the difficulties that the recent reforms to the Child Support Act 1991 are likely to bring. There are increasing numbers of applicants for child maintenance, such as the applicant in this case, whose claims fail to satisfy the requirements of the maintenance provisions of the Child Maintenance Service and/or the general provisions of the Courts. James cautioned that high profile cases such as Hakki might give rise to a new generation of individuals seeking to avoid their liabilities under the Child Maintenance Scheme by adopting complicated strategies to side step their rightful obligations.