The government responded to the consultation on the draft Child Support (Fees) Regulations 2013 and the draft Child Support (Ending Liability in Existing Cases and Transition to New Calculation Rules) Regulations 2013. Concerns raised by the consultation included: the impact of the proposed support for victims of domestic violence; the impact on the voluntary and community sector; the potential disruption of payments in some cases as the schemes transitioned; and the level of collection fees.
Source: Supporting Separated Families: Securing childrenï¿½s futures, Department for Work and Pensions, TSO
An article examined survey evidence on what members of the public thought the law should require the father to pay by way of child maintenance for each of a series of families in different financial and family circumstances. The public believed that: the state should set the amount of, and enforce, child maintenance payments; amounts should be considerably higher than under the existing formula, especially at higher paternal incomes; fathers should pay a higher percentage of their income in child maintenance when either their income was more, or the mother's income was less; even low-income parents should pay at least some child maintenance; and the purpose of child support went beyond ensuring the child had necessities, and included providing the child with amenities, where the father's income allowed.
Source: Caroline Bryson, Ira Mark Ellman, Stephen McKay, and Joanna Miles, 'Child maintenance: how much should the state require fathers to pay when families separate?', Family Law, October 2013
A report said that 64 per cent of lone parents on out-of-work benefits did not receive any child maintenance from their child's other parent although the proportion that did had increased from 24 to 36 per cent between 2007 and 2012. Child maintenance, where it was paid, played a key role in lifting children out of poverty: but some parents were unable to make private arrangements and would continue to depend on the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, despite coalition government plans to charge them for using the statutory service.
Source: Caroline Bryson, Amy Skipp, Janet Allbeson, Eloise Poole, Eleanor Ireland, and Vicky Marsh, Kids Arent Free: The child maintenance arrangements of single parents on benefit in 2012, Gingerbread/NatCen/BPSR
An article examined the contribution made by child maintenance to the income packages of lone mothers, and whether it helped to lift them out of poverty. Despite reforms implemented in October 2008 that allowed parents on means-tested benefits to keep up to £20 per week of child maintenance, the effect on poverty had been disappointing. The median amount of payments remained low and only a minority of lone mothers reported receiving any money. This raised concerns about the coalition government's latest proposals to introduce charges for using the statutory child maintenance scheme.
Source: Christine Skinner and Gill Main, 'The contribution of child maintenance payments to the income packages of lone mothers', Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, Volume 21 Number 1
The coalition government published a strategy for addressing arrears of child maintenance and maximizing compliance in the future.
Source: Preparing for the Future, Tackling the Past: Child Maintenance Arrears and compliance strategy 2012-2017, Department for Work and Pensions
A special issue of a journal examined international research evidence on child maintenance schemes in five countries (United Kingdom, United States of America, Iceland, Finland, and the Netherlands), and provided a comparative analysis.
Source: European Journal of Social Security, Volume 12 Number 4
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