Family Law Hub

Government response to child maintenance collection and enforcement consultation published

Consultation ran until February 2018

  • The Government has published its response to a consultation on improvements to child maintenance calculations, collection and enforcement.

    The consultation ran until 8 February and received a total of 99 responses: 11 from organisations and 88 from private individuals, of which 21 identified themselves as paying parents and 24 as receiving parents. The key points to note in the response are that:

    there was a call include unearned income automatically calculating a liability but this would require legislation so instead HMRC is looking at ways to speed up the current process for sharing the relevant unearned income data they hold. 

    respondents offered a range of views on our proposed new power to allow the CMS to derive a notional income from an asset for the purpose of varying a calculation but there was no clear consensus on the percentage rate we should use to derive a notional income or the minimum value of assets this should be applied to. Therefore the Government has opted to proceed with the 8% rate proposed in line with the Judgment Debts (rate of interest) Order 1993 and will set the minimum 7 aggregate value of assets at £31,250. 

    the Government intends to introduce new regulations to allow deductions from Universal Credit at the rate of £8.40 a week, aligning our treatment of these clients with others in a similar situation. These deductions could also be extended to collect arrears 

    new powers to make orders on jointly held accounts will go ahead but subject to some safeguards in the light of the consultation responses such that a check on the last six months' bank statements will be undertaken to establish ownership of funds before progressing the order. Where this isn't possible a pro-rata approach will be taken that assumes 50% of the funds in the account belongs to the paying parent unless evidence is received to the contrary. 

    the Government will go ahead with a new power to confiscate passports from those who repeatedly refuse to meet their child maintenance obligations 

    The full response can be read on the Gov.uk website.

News, published: 12/07/2018

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Published: 12/07/2018

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