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Views sought on a new strategy for child maintenance compliance and arrears

Date:15 DEC 2017
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A consultation from the Department for Work and Pensions seeks views on a new child maintenance compliance and arrears strategy. Views are requested on options to give the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) stronger compliance, collection and enforcement methods to make sure parents are meeting their responsibilities towards their children. The consultation closes on 8 February 2018.
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The CMS was established in 2012 to replace the old Child Support Agency (CSA). The consultation proposals include:

  • removing passports—parents who persistently do not pay child maintenance they owe could face being banned from holding or obtaining a UK passport for up to two years

  • improved calculations—income from capital, foreign income, notional income from assets and unearned income could all be taken into account when the CMS works out how much maintenance a parent owes

  • deductions from business accounts—the CMS could seize funds from sole trader and partnership accounts to pay off a parent’s unpaid maintenance bill

The consultation also outlines proposals to address historic unpaid child maintenance built up under the old CSA, and options for writing it off.

Responses can be submitted by email to: complianceand.arrearsconsultation@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or in writing to: Child Maintenance Policy Team, Ground Floor North Zone E, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UA.