Child Maintenance Service reforms

As you might be aware, the Government is reforming the child maintenance system, aimed at shifting parents away from the CSA and towards family-based arrangements.

For those parents who are unable to make family-based arrangements, the Government is introducing a statutory scheme (called the Child Maintenance Service). This will eventually replace the 1993 and 2003 schemes run by the CSA.

Some of the features of the 2012 Child Maintenance Service include:

• cases reviewed every year to ensure the right amount of money is being paid• a new child maintenance calculation framework• a facility to manage cases online• quicker action on arrears

The Child Maintenance Service is being introduced gradually from late 2012. Initially, only parents with four children or more with the same parents are able to apply to the Child Maintenance Service; other new applications go to the Child Support Agency. This was brought in on 10 December. Over time, the Child Maintenance Service will open to all new applicants.

Anyone thinking about making a child maintenance arrangement should contact Child Maintenance Options in the first instance.

Child Maintenance Options can be contacted on:

0800 988 0988www.cmoptions.orgLines are open:8am to 8pm Monday to Friday9am to 4pm Saturday

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