Father on six-figure wage sentenced after owing £60,000 in youngster upkeep

George Ward, of Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said the wealthy father had “deliberately and dishonestly” under-declared his income to avoid paying the correct rate of child maintenance.

Mr Ward added: “By lying about the true extent of his income, he has deprived the mother of much needed money to help bring up their child. Bank statement evidence revealed that his income was a lot higher than he declared in the payslips he submitted to the CMS.”

Baroness Deborah Stedman-Scott, parliamentary under secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, branded the case “particularly shameful”.

If a parent does not pay outstanding child support in a “reasonable amount of time” the CMS can pursue the debts by selling property and assets.

Both parents are responsible for the costs of raising their children, even if one parent is absent, and a support plan can either be arranged privately or through the CMS. The vast majority of parents – 93pc – who must pay child support are male.

The share of parents paying their child support has steadily declined over the past year and more than £474m of maintenance was outstanding at the end of March, according to official figures.

Earlier this year, the CMS revealed plans to fit parents who refuse to pay child support with an electronic tag and put them under curfew in a crackdown on tens of thousands of neglectful fathers.

The CMS can already ask courts to confiscate passports and driving licenses, deduct outstanding maintenance from earnings and send offending parents to prison.

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