Thursday, 5 July 2007


MPs debated the new Child Maintenance Bill for the first time in Parliament today, and Resolution is lobbying for parents to be allowed to take their own enforcement action.
The Government created a system where the only way to enforce child maintenance was via the Child Support Agency (“the CSA”) – the result is a debt mountain of £3.5 billion in uncollected maintenance.
The Government is promoting voluntary agreements between parents for child maintenance to avoid overload on its proposed new version of the CSA, C-MEC. Resolution says there will have to be a large number of voluntary agreements if C-MEC is not to be overwhelmed.
Yet the Government is not proposing that such arrangements will be enforceable. So couples unable to agree or enforce a voluntary arrangement will still have to go through C-MEC.
If the Government is serious about empowering parents and reducing the burden on C-MEC, they should ensure that those who choose to are free to use the court process to enforce their own maintenance arrangements.
Where the Courts are already examining the minutiae of a family’s finances for the purposes of divorce, the most cost effective and practical course would be to enable them to cover arrangements for child support payments too.

1 comment:

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