Loopholes ‘depriving single parents of child support’

child maintenance

‘Loopholes’ mean too many absent parents are not paying their dues, single parent charity Gingerbread has claimed.

In a new report entitled Children Deserve More, Gingerbread insist that recent reforms to the child maintenance system have “prioritised administrative convenience over all other concerns” and “desperate” parents with care are being let down by an unhelpful and confusing system.

Amongst the issues highlighted in the report is the government’s decision to calculate child support obligations on the basis of gross earnings as self-reported to HMRC, which is of course, a separate organisation. This allows many paying parents to deliberately under-report their true incomes the charity says, even if they are in reality quite wealthy, and get away with paying “a bare minimum”.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) procrastinates when parents complain that they are not receiving their due, Gingerbread insists, or disclaims responsibility, referring them to HRMC, only for the parent to receive a similar reception from the latter organisation. Some are then repeatedly passed back and forth between the two organisations.

The government must child support evasion seriously, Gingerbread declares, and establish a new strategy for tackling the issues involved. This must include provision for greater cooperation between the CMS and HMRC it says.

Director of Policy Dalia Ben-Galim said:

“Up and down the country, loopholes in the child maintenance system are allowing parents to deny their children the essential support they need. Some are deliberately hiding their income, while others can perfectly lawfully escape with income or assets ignored; some are cash-in-hand labourers, while others are multi-millionaires. But in all these cases, single parents now have to collect evidence for a system that continually obstructs them. It’s not enough that they juggle being breadwinners and homemakers – they are now forced to become private detectives as well.”

You can read more here.

Image by Howard Lake via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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Andy - June 26, 2017 at 3:59pm

Gingerbread are bleating again…
What and who they represent are the so hard done by gold digger mother’s and of course a voice behind CMS…
Trouble is who is checking them..
Good luck to the loophole finders also just shows the so called caring and parental alienation by such groups who support such…
Incompetence is not the word but wern’t they the ones who tried to get the 4% charge removed and application fee removed Charged by the CMS due to struggling PWC usually the applicant mother with sudden increased
financial needs, funny the charge for the NRP was to stay the same…quite clear who is backing who…
Same as MUMSNET bunch of bra throwing groups who actually earn more than the booted out father and hide behind the so called domestic violence routine to bolster and gain financial increases…

Steve - June 26, 2017 at 5:04pm

In this day and age of so-called equality. Let their mothers pay for them when they are in their care and I’ll pay for them when they’re in my care. Equal.

JamesB - June 27, 2017 at 12:51am

Seems fair enough and sensible solution to me. Would stop the randomise that goes on also. Need presumption of shared care fifty fifty also to make work.

I didnt used to think that, used to believe establishment knew best with child arrangements. Now I think they (family courts) know nothing and your approach plus fifty fifty care is sensible the way to go.

JamesB - June 27, 2017 at 12:55am

Better still, put the whole thing back to the courts where it was and should be and subject to prenups rather than the mess the government agencies have made and are making as csa/cmec/cms/cmoptions.

Andrew - June 27, 2017 at 9:40am

Totally agree on the 50.50 argument followed by the “support them when you have them” argument. Clearly, parents will need to agree on things like schooling and activities but the state is the worst possible arbiter in these situations.

Paul - June 27, 2017 at 12:59pm

Agreed about me paying while they are with me. Not so sure about going back to the courts. Courts have deminstrated no capacity to rule fairly in child custody disputes. Infact they have demonstrated a capcity to discriminate. I simply would not trust them to arbitrate these things. The PWC would turn on tears claim DV an you would be stitched up like a kipper. Then you would receive court fees/solicitors fees on top of CMS payments. Which is just in human.

Andrew - June 26, 2017 at 5:18pm

CM is one debt among many and HMRC have no business supporting one creditor over another. In fact: since many PWCs will rely on benefits – that is the taxpayer – if the NRP does not pay, for HMRC to favour CM would be grossly improper.

Paul - June 26, 2017 at 6:59pm

Why is my ex aloud the benefit of 3 incomes and im not aloud one.
Exs income + new partners income + CMS + benefits. Vs my situation One income -17.5% tax – 20% cms (two kids) – 37.5% of my income gone before rent or mortauge- Its a fecking inhuman situation. So if I was on minimum wage I would be 20% national minimum living standard. Understand male suicide rate yet ??? Whoever does this is a disgrace.

Maurice Wilson - July 25, 2017 at 8:00pm

Same here I might have to leave the country with my 2 new children if I am going to ever build a future for them. I’ve been going to family court for 3 years the social workers wrote that the mother is mentally manipulation the children . Everytime she don’t get her own way in family court new alligations arise and the courts did nothing all they said was she mist encourage them because children often resent thier parents in the future ( as if she cares) . All I get is indirect contact with cards and I don’t receive anything back.

Paul - July 26, 2017 at 3:18pm

Im im same boat Maurice. No contact except birthday cards. Its sickening pall. I have a mind just too ignore it an go an see them anyway. Yet im getting hounded for money. This is a sick sick game. Keep your head up pall.
(*Comment moderated)

Andrew - June 27, 2017 at 9:37am

This so called “research” is a badly drafted piece of propaganda authored by an organisation that supports divisive policy. There is no justification for this sort of vitriolic nonsense in this day and age.

The report is shockingly lacking in any kind of empirical data as to the size of this so called “problem”. The figures on page 30 are based mainly on conjecture and “estimates” and the simple fact is that there are already mechanisms in place to adjust for all the “issues” raised in the report.

The report itself says “Elizabeth, Heather, Lee and Sandra ultimately succeeded – with varying degrees of success – in persuading an appeal tribunal to increase their child maintenance to better reflect their ex-partner’s true financial resources.” – so what is the problem really?

That’s its not “easy enough” to pillage a legal stranger’s income for your own selfish benefit?

Surely a more beneficial way would be to have a system based on the actual cost of raising children (like they have in Sweden or Denmark).

Paul Apreda - June 27, 2017 at 12:55pm

We’ve issued a response today entitled ‘A ‘Monopoly’ of the argument here https://www.fnf-bpm.org.uk/image/upload/branch/cymru/A_monopoly_of_the_argument.pdf

Steve - June 27, 2017 at 3:02pm

Love it Paul

Paul - June 27, 2017 at 3:47pm

Superb !!

Andy - June 27, 2017 at 9:20pm

Justice for NRP’s
Good luck and fight on…

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