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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

29 MAY 2007

Shared residence and tax credits

David Burrows, Solicitor Advocate. The benefits system is based on narrow and often discriminatory assumptions. One of these is that only one or other parent can care for a child and thus receive benefits or tax credits. In the case of child benefit the legislation instructs us that if in doubt, we should assume that the mother is the carer. In the case of Hockenjos v Secretary of State for Social Security (No 2) [2004] EWCA Civ 1749, [2005] 1 FLR 1009 Ward LJ condemned the law's 'demeaning discrimination against fathers'. This article examines the provisions of the current law from a critical perspective, identifying the areas which are dissatisfactory and in need of reform, concluding that unless there is a change to the law then each benefit and tax credit is going to have to be picked off, one by one, in the Court of Appeal, by equal sharing parents. For the full article see June [2007] Fam Law.

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