Child Maintenance

A committee of MPs has published a report proposing reforms to how child maintenance s paid.

The report identifies that the current system run by the Child Support Agency is inadequate and leaves many children of separated parents without sufficient child maintenance and notes that many single parents receive either irregular or no payments of maintenance.

The writers of the report are of their view that separated parents should be encouraged and supported to make their own arrangements rather than relying on a Government agency to do it for them. It also raises the issue of collection of payment and urges the Government to come up with a more effective way of collecting payments from those who do not pay.

Whilst it is encouraging that the Government has recognised that the current system needs reform it is important to ensure that child maintenance doe snot become a casualty¬†of the “Big Society.” Many parents seek maintenance via the CSA because they have no other option not because they don’t want to resolve their own problems. They may have tired for many years to agree maintenance payments with an ex-partner but unless their ex is actually willing to pay there is very little that they can do to enforce their child’s rights to maintenance. The state does need to provide a mechanism for resolving these disputes.

SarahM

July 5, 2011

Children Disputes

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