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Kara Swift
Kara Swift
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More parents to receive free advice about child maintenance

Date:10 MAR 2011

MoneyA new initiative from the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will offer thousands of newly-separated parents free information and support on arranging child maintenance.

The service is being run in partnership with Child Maintenance Options, an information service provided by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. Parents on tax credits who contact HMRC to report changes of circumstance following family breakdown can now choose a call-back from the Child Maintenance Options service.

An estimated 91,000 children are already benefiting from collaborative family-based maintenance arrangements agreed between parents after contacting Child Maintenance Options - 30,000 more than a year ago.

Director of the Child Maintenance Options service, Janet Wojtkow, said: "We're concerned some parents may have missed out on help with child maintenance because they were reluctant or frightened to find out what their options might be, or simply didn't know where to go to get the help they needed.

"As difficult and as tense a time as separation can be, making sure children are supported financially is a priority for parents. We hope our new initiative for people on tax credits will ensure lots more parents get the help and support they need to come to a child maintenance arrangement that suits them."

It is estimated that around 60,000 people each year could benefit from the new initiative.