Family Law Hub

Child maintenance: new steps to improve compliance and to allow arrears to be written off

The House of Commons library has written a useful summary of recent changes to child maintenance enforcement

  • This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers new measures confirmed in July 2018 to improve compliance and allow arrears to be written off for the statutory child maintenance scheme.

    The measures are in response to a Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) consultation and are set in their response published in July 2018.

    The key measures are:

    • unearned income to be included in the initial calculation of child maintenance;
    • notional income to be calculated from non-income generating assets;
    • permit deductions for ongoing maintenance at the flat rate from those Universal Credit claimants who have earnings;
    • allow deductions from welfare benefits where arrears have accrued but ongoing child maintenance is no longer paid;
    • deductions from business bank accounts;
    • removal of passports for those non-resident parents who do not pay arrears;
    • allow more legacy Child Support Agency (CSA) cases where debt is owed to the person with care to be written off, subject to certain safeguards;
    • write off all CSA debt owed to the Government by non-resident parents (some £1.2 billion).

    The Government hopes to introduce the changes during Autumn 2018, with the exception of the changes relating to welfare benefits, for which no date has been set.

    Read the full briefing paper on the Parliament website.

Practice note, published: 09/08/2018

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Published: 09/08/2018

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