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Lord Adonis moved Amendments Nos. 91 to 105:


(i) at the end of paragraph (a) insert "and",
(ii) omit paragraph (c) and the word "and" immediately preceding it,"
Page 17, line 6, after "require" insert "for the purpose of making a report under section 11M(1)(b) or (c)"
Page 17, leave out lines 9 to 13.
Page 18, line 14, after first "order" insert "or any contact order that has effect in its place"
Page 18, line 23, after "order" insert "or any contact order that has effect in its place"
Page 18, line 27, after first "order" insert "or any contact order that has effect in its place"
Page 19, line 9, at end insert "or any contact order that has effect in its place"
Page 19, line 39, after second "the" insert "warning and the subsequent"
Page 20, line 6, at end insert—
"( ) A report under sub-paragraph (5) must include a report of the warning given to the person subject to the enforcement order."
Page 20, line 21, leave out "as if the first order had not been made" and insert "and (if the first order is still in force) provide for the second order to have effect either in addition to or in substitution for the first order"
Page 20, line 39, leave out from "in" to end of line 41 and insert "respect of a failure by the person to comply with the unpaid work requirement imposed by the first order unless it is satisfied that before the failure occurred the person had been given (in accordance with rules of court) a copy of, or otherwise informed of the terms of, a notice under section 11N relating to the first order"
Page 21, line 5, after "that" insert ", taking into account the extent to which the person has complied with the unpaid work requirement imposed by the first order,"
Page 21, line 5, leave out from third "the" to "order)" in line 6 and insert "proposed exercise of those powers"
Page 21, line 8, after "order" insert "or any contact order that has effect in its place"
Page 21, leave out lines 11 and 12 and insert—
"( ) Where the court exercises its powers under sub-paragraph (2) by making an enforcement order in relation to a person who has failed to comply with another enforcement order—
(a) sections 11K(6), 11L(2) to (7), 11M and 11N have effect as regards the making of the order in relation to the person as they have effect as regards the making of an enforcement order in relation to a person who has failed to comply with a contact order;
(b) this Part of this Schedule has effect in relation to the order so made as if it were an enforcement order made in respect of the failure for which the other order was made."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.

Lord Adonis moved Amendment No. 106:

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 106A not moved.]
 
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Lord Adonis moved Amendment No. 107:

On Question, amendment agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: I have to inform the Committee that if Amendment No. 108 is agreed to, I cannot call Amendments Nos. 109 and 110 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Morris, and the noble Earl, Lord Howe.

Lord Adonis moved Amendment No. 108:


"(6) A person falls within this subsection if he is—
(a) the person who is, for the purposes of the contact order, the person with whom the child concerned lives or is to live;
(b) the person whose contact with the child concerned is provided for in the contact order;
(c) an individual subject to a condition under section 11(7)(b) or a contact activity condition imposed by the contact order; or
(d) the child concerned."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 109 and 110 not moved.]

Lord Adonis moved Amendment No. 111:


"( ) Subsection (2) has effect subject to the restrictions in section 11P."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 111A not moved.]

Lord Adonis moved Amendment No. 112:


(a) in the case of a failure to comply with a contact order that was varied before the failure occurred, a notice under section 11I relating to the order varying the contact order or, where more than one such order has been made, the last order preceding the failure in question;
(b) in any other case, a notice under section 11I relating to the contact order."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

5.45 pm

Baroness Thornton moved Amendment No. 113:


"11Q COMPENSATION ORDERS: NON-RESIDENT PARENTS
(1) Before making an order for compensation in favour of a non-resident parent, the court shall establish—
(a) whether the person who has suffered financial loss by reason of the breach of the contact order has any liability for child support in respect of the child; and
(b) whether that liability is fully satisfied.
(2) No court shall make any compensation order under section 110(2) in favour of any person in arrears in their child support payments.""


 
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The noble Baroness said: The amendment is consistent with those moved earlier by me and my noble friend Lady Gould. It is about the court being seen to be even-handed in its treatment of non-resident and resident parents. We have acknowledged several times that most of the measures outlined in the Bill are likely to be used against mothers because in the vast majority of cases mothers will be the resident parent providing everyday care for a child. So she is the person who will be ordered to hand the child over for contact visits and may be ordered to pay compensation if her ex-partner suffers financial loss because she has breached the contact order.

It is important to note that the Bill does not contain—perhaps it does; my noble friend has already explained this to us but it did not appear to me to contain—measures that require the non-resident parent to turn up for contact visits or to behave reasonably to their ex-partner or to the child. In many cases, the mother and child may already be suffering financial hardship because the non-resident parent has not made child support payments or may be behind with them. It seems to me unfair to require one parent to pay compensation to the other without establishing whether that is the case or whether the other parent has in some way failed to meet their responsibilities to the child for child support payments. I beg to move.

Lord Adonis: My noble friend makes a perfectly reasonable point. It is a vexed issue why one parent should be required to pay for the cost of activities that are forgone as a result of contact being denied while the other parent is not making their child support payments as they ought to. There is of course an elementary justice to what she says, but our response is that they are two entirely separate regimes and, in this world, two wrongs do not make a right. Therefore, we do not think it appropriate to make one contingent on the other. That is not to say that we do not believe that child support should be paid. Of course we do, and we need to do a great deal more to tackle that. New penalties have been introduced to make child support payments more effective, including the power for a court to disqualify a non-resident parent from holding or obtaining a driving licence; or, if the court is satisfied that the non-resident parent has deliberately avoided paying maintenance, it may issue a warrant for committal to prison for up to six weeks.

However, it is also of course wrong that resident parents are not meeting their obligations in respect of access to children by non-resident parents and there should be sanctions to prevent that. We are talking about holidays, football matches, and so on, which are important to the life of children and the sanctions regime must be effective in that regard. Simply to say that it would be waived in the event of child support payments not being made would not be conducive to that. So although I appreciate the point being made by my noble friend, we do not think that it would be right to make the one contingent on the other.


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