DWP boasts of 15,000 voluntary maintenance arrangements

child maintenance

More than 30,000 parents have now set up voluntary child maintenance arrangements, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced.

So-called ‘family-based arrangements’ are voluntary agreements between divorced or separated couples, in which the government does not intervene. In a new release the DWP announces that the parents of more than 15,900 children have made such arrangements after first contacting government advice and support service Child Maintenance Options.

Those unable to reach agreement on child maintenance with their ex-partner or spouse can turn to the Child Maintenance Service for legally enforced payments but both the recipients and paying party are charged for these.

Minister for Welfare Delivery Caroline Nokes said:

“We know children grow up to have better health, emotional well-being and educational attainment if their parents – whether together or separated – have a positive relationship. All children deserve the best start in life and that’s why, through Child Maintenance Options, we encourage separated couples to work together in the best interests of their children.”

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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3 comments

Jo Archer - February 9, 2017 at 3:45pm

Big deal.

I wonder how many of the PWCs felt they were in an equal negotiating position with the NRP or decided something was better than wasting their time making an application to the CMS when the governent has finally admitted they have no ability whatsoever to force NRPs to do anything they don’t want to for their children…re: £4 billion unpaid child support arrears.

Yvie - February 9, 2017 at 4:34pm

Most fathers want close contact with their children and want to support them. This organisation claims to support the notion of families working together. Unfortunately when it gives a mandatory figure of 12-20% gross of the paying parents income, there are certain receiving parents who would not dream of settling for anything less – they are entitled to it aren’t they? It is owed to them isn’t it?

The CMS is perfectly positioned to ensure that paying parents pay up in the majority of cases. If they do not or are unable to, they place a DEO order with an extra charge of 16% in addition to the mandatory child maintenance. The majority of paying parents on or below the national average wage cannot afford for any further changes to be taken from their wages, so they ensure that they pay promptly. If they struggle to pay their bills such as rent, water, council tax, gas, electricity, transport costs, food etc, it is of no consequence to the CMS.

Percentages should be advisory only and parents should be encouraged to work together to come up with fair and affordable child maintenance. Only if a father refuses to face his responsibilities should CMS take action. As I understand if, if CMS can place a DEO on a paying parent, they receive a bonus of £50 for their trouble. Seems to go against the conception of encouraging parents to work together.

Andy - February 10, 2017 at 7:20pm

What complete and utter bull S##it.
The CMS was set up to enforce payments not encourage….and if you don’t…they then deduct from source….So the down trodden father who is financially decimated…So what of the CMS, incompetent lot they are….
So to sum it up, if you don’t pay we will make you pay…

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