Millions owed to single parents in child maintenance

family law

Single parents in the UK are owed millions of pounds in child maintenance, a new study suggests.

Campaign charity Gingerbread claims that as much as £6 million is owed to such parents in West Yorkshire, Grimsby, Nottingham, Milton Keynes and Telford alone. The organisation maintains that the average amount of unpaid child maintenance is more than £2,000 per family across the country and that as many as one million households are affected.

The areas of the country with the lowest average maintenance arrears were London, Sheffield and the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland.

In a new report, Gingerbread suggests that the debts were the result of the Child Support Agency (CSA) doing less to enforce payments. The CSA is currently in the process of winding down as its work is taken over by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). This was set up to encourage parents to pay each other directly rather than go through the government.

Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weir said the CSA’s failure to collect outstanding child maintenance “means that children are going without and single parents have been left poorer”. Additionally, she expects child poverty among single parent families to double in the next four years if nothing is done to correct this issue.

Both the CSA and the CMS should be “doing all they can to ensure that families get the financial support they are owed” Weir insisted, adding that while they technically have the power to enforce such payments “in reality both are slow to act … and single parents are left shouldering the costs of raising a child alone”.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions claimed they “actively pursue those parents who are not meeting their financial responsibilities and in almost 90 per cent of cases, parents are paying the money owed”.

Read the full Gingerbread report here.

Photo by David via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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9 comments

Andrew - October 26, 2016 at 2:25pm

Many of the debtors will owe money to lots of others. You can’t get blood out of a stone. We need a system which takes as much of a multiple-debtor’s income as will not leave him destitute (and leave him with a motive to better himself) and divide it fairly among all the creditors – who would have to accept their share on satisfaction of their claims.
.
No creditor should have any special method of pressuring the debtor and of course imprisonment for debt should be consigned to history.

Andy - October 27, 2016 at 7:44am

Is this the failing by the agency or is it Gingerbread running the agency ..through the pressure of mother groups to gain more finances from fathers who have to live themselves.
Typicaly the governemt view is take from one person and give it to another but what about shared costs it is very cleat the agency via government rules don’t want any more to do with the old and current system of collection its left to others to sort…

I do not blame NRP dodging to pay or pay a share as long it is met with the same by the PWC not just one sided.
Clearly Gingerbread is running the show…as for debt on current cases should be written off as majority of cases that the old CSA did..now brushed under the carpet…
It is a very volatile subject and one where it will never be closed..majority of cases are total injustice and working with the NEW CMS it is just the same..but re badged..poor, incompetent and hides itself behind its own rules as made up of course..
You try and get any answers to question raised.they simply don’t know….

JamesB - October 27, 2016 at 1:24pm

Well written Andy.

I think I blame the Government, it should be up to them to consult properly rather than be lobbied and put in dodgy law, that smacks of egotistical corrupt politicians.

Gingerbread, and other women’s groups have lobbied heavily and the non resident parents tend not to. Its a failure of the political class that they only listen to those shouting or with money and have not any grassroots support as evidenced by Brexit recently. Its a long time since we had popular politicians and decent representative democracy we certainly need more of it on this subject.

The last commons select committee I did mail the chair and say you have non fathers involved in the consultation, she said none volunteered, I think she was wrong with that approach and she was sheepish. The Lunatics are running the asylum.

JamesB - October 27, 2016 at 1:28pm

Well written Andy.

I think I blame the Government, it should be up to them to consult properly rather than be lobbied and put in dodgy law, that smacks of egotistical corrupt politicians.

Gingerbread, and other women’s groups have lobbied heavily and the non resident parents tend not to. Its a failure of the political class that they only listen to those shouting or with money and have not any grassroots support as evidenced by Brexit recently. Its a long time since we had popular politicians and decent representative democracy we certainly need more of it on this subject and most others.

The last commons select committee I did mail the chair and say you have no fathers involved in the consultation, she said none volunteered, I think she was wrong with that approach and she was sheepish. The Lunatics are running the asylum.

yvie - October 27, 2016 at 7:28pm

Courts are apparently beginning the recognise the destructive pattern of behaviour known as parental alienation. It is a crime against the child when one parent seeks to demonise the other parent to the extent that the targeted parent is eased out of the child’s life. Gingerbread and groups like it seem to view non-payment of monies owed to impoverished mothers by absent fathers as their top priority, They need to ask themselves why so many fathers are absent and whether it is the father’s choice to be absent or whether it has been forced upon him by a determined alienator. I look forward to the day when child alienation is classed as a criminal offence.

Stitchedup - October 28, 2016 at 10:47am

Good post Yvie. Unfortunately I think things will only change when we have politicians with the balls to challenge feminist thugs and expose modern day feminism for the anti-family, anti-father destructive force that it is. Currently both family law and criminal law positively encourages the demonisation and criminalisation of men/fathers and seeks to estrange them from their children as a result of the most flimsy allegations often with no burden of proof and on a guilt until proven innocent basis.

JamesB - October 28, 2016 at 1:50pm

I for one would be interested on your (and Yvie’s) views on Donald Trump.

Andy - October 29, 2016 at 2:06am

I agree with all comments made..it is very clear that PWC use all sorts of tricks to get more money from the NRP. Yes this should be recognised and classed as criminal as this is where alienation begins after divorce or separation.

Such idiot groups as Gingerbread promote that all fathers have left and its there fault, bla bla bla.
Now what about the silent victim when the PWC has caused the separation and conducted them self to create an easy way out and get paid for it…
Look at all the FMH that are given to the PWC after divorce and then claim benefits with CMS calculation..too good to be true..
It’s all well and good that Fathers for justice and such groups are in support but where are they,really!!.
No where, not even lobbying any government to support the increased trend in scheming,gold digger PWC…
I would not support FFJ.as they are a poor and not action taking group…

SARAH - January 12, 2017 at 4:20am

After reading all the “Poor Dads” statements above i find you all laughable and am quite shocked at how judgemental you are re single parent Mothers. It is not ALL women that sit around eating cake all day dreaming up ways to get money out of poor suffering, just scraping by, on the bread line men that just want to see their children!!

I would like nothing more than for my son to have a father that makes him feel loved, and takes him football and fishing but instead my son has a father that calls him when he is bored an says yes get ready ill be round tomorrow at 10am and i am the one who has to deal with the heartbeak when my son doesn’t hear from him for weeks as he decided to go out drinking instead. I work full time and have brought my son up by myself for the past 7 years and as his Dad doesn’t i am the one who stands over the football pitch at 9am on a freezing Sunday morning, the one who takes him banger racing and motorbiking. I am also the one who struggles everyday to keep a roof over our head, food on the table, clothes on his back, pay for football, kits season club fees whilst his Poor father brings home £700 per week and pays absolutly nothing towards his son.
I think that it is disgusting how I contacted the CSA in April last year and i am yet to see a penny from them, just as much as i think one parent keeping the other one away from a child is terrible but i do not judge every man or woman on assumptions that i know nothing about. As for “THE IDIOT GROUP GINGERBREAD” stating its all the fathers fault and blah blah blah Andy………….Gingerbread is a helpline for SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES…..PARENTS……NOT SINGLE MOTHERS……….so i believe that the comment you made may be down to your narrow mindedness and i don’t think that the IDIOTS are actually Gingerbread?!?
Just a quick statistic for you…..91% of all single parents are women. Do not judge everyone on your opinions

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