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Review of Child Maintenance Service

The UK Government has published details of research into the effectiveness of the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

According to the Government, the research shows that the majority of separated parents using the CMS are managing their child support payments between themselves, and most arrangements set up using Direct Pay under the new CMS are still in place a year later.

The CMS launched in 2012 and is designed to support separated families to come to their own financial arrangements, which is in the best interest of their children. The CMS is replacing the old Child Support Agency, which was failing families because it was complicated, did not encourage collaboration, and was not providing value for taxpayers.

Looking at the research findings in more detail, they show that:

  • almost seven out of ten parents (68%) with a Direct Pay arrangement – meaning the non-resident parent is paying their child maintenance directly to the receiving parent rather than via the CMS – had their arrangement in place three months after receiving their child maintenance calculation from the CMS,
  • a year after setting up their arrangement, 62% of parents using the Direct Pay service still had that arrangement in place, and 19% had another type of maintenance arrangement,
  • more than half (56%) of parents who made an enquiry into the CMS and then did not proceed with an application, or closed an application, said they intended setting up an alternative arrangement with their ex-partner – normally a family-based arrangement, and
  • nine out of ten of those family-based arrangements were financial arrangements and 86% of those were described as effective.

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For expert legal advice on issues involving divorce and separation then contact our specialist family lawyers today.