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Child Maintenance Reform, 05/11/13 [E/NI/S/W]

The Government has published its response to the consultation 'Supporting separated families: securing children’s futures'.

It has made a number of changes to the proposals in order to address the concerns raised by some respondents around the charging of fees and the closure of existing Child Support Agency cases.

The proposed parent with care collection fee has been reduced from 7% to 4%. The list of organisations to which domestic violence can be reported in order to qualify for the application fee waiver has been extended. The definition of domestic violence has been updated to keep it in line with the current cross-Government definition, which includes financial abuse.

It has also changed the proposed order in which Child Support Agency cases will close. Nil-assessed cases will be closed first in order to minimise payment disruption. It is estimated that around 50,000 cases could move from being nil-assessed to being positively assessed, should a new application be made to the Child Maintenance Service. Cases with an enforced method of payment in place, or where enforcement action is ongoing, will be closed last. These non-resident parents will be subject to a compliance test before they are allowed to choose the “Direct Pay” option.

For full details see the UK Government website.

Further information

Supporting separated families: securing children’s futures