New Child Maintenance System fit for the 21st Century
On 11 August 2014 a new child maintenance system came into effect designed to encourage parents to cooperate with one another in the payment of child maintenance.
The new system is part of the reforms which will see the Child Support Agency wound down over the next three years and replaced by the Child Maintenance Service in order to reduce the high running costs characterised with the old system.
As part of the reforms parents will be encouraged to make their own arrangements in the payment of child maintenance, or if this is not achievable, take advantage of the newly introduced Direct Pay System or transfer to the replacement statutory system in which the new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will collect and pay child maintenance.
The Direct Pay System
If parents opt to use the Direct Pay System, they will need to pay a one off application fee of £20.00 in order for the Child Maintenance Service to calculate the amount of maintenance payable.
The Direct Pay System then allows parents to make their own payment arrangements directly between themselves. This allows them to work together using the online self-service account, which will enable them to keep track of payments with an aim to eradicate past failures.
If the paying parent misses a payment of child maintenance, the Direct Pay system will intervene and can enforce the payments.
There are no ongoing charges for using the service.
Replacement Statutory System
If parents opt to use the Replacement Statutory System, there is also an application fee of £20.00 which allows the Child Maintenance Service to calculate the amount of maintenance payable.
However, unlike the Direct Pay System, under the Replacement Statutory System the Child Maintenance Service will arrange to collect and pay the maintenance.
If parents decide to use this service, they will have to pay fees to the Child Maintenance Service for collecting and paying the child maintenance.
The parents who are paying the child maintenance will have to pay a 20% fee on top of their regular child maintenance payment and parents receiving the child maintenance will have 4% deducted from their regular child maintenance.
Family Law Solicitors Eastbourne, Hailsham and Polegate
If you require further advice in relation to children matters please contact our Family Department for a free 30 minute appointment to discuss your circumstances and receive preliminary advice from one of our experienced Family Law Solicitors.
Eastbourne: 01323 727321
Hailsham: 01323 841481
Polegate: 01323 487051