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News - 23 May 2014

Changes to child maintenance.

The government wants parents to agree their child maintenance agreements "amicably" or face a charge, as more than 50,000 letters are being sent out by the Department for Work and Pensions to parents in England, Scotland and Wales who currently pay and receive child maintenance through the old CSA, informing them of changes to their child maintenance arrangements.

Lavinia Newman, Founder of ABDS and a qualified Mediator comments:
“Child maintenance is financial support that helps towards a child's living costs when the parents have separated. If parents split, maintenance should be paid to the person who takes care of the child on a day-to-day basis. Under the old system many single parents used the Child Support Agency (CSA) to sort out maintenance payments, but ministers announced last year the CSA would be abolished.”

A government spokesman said the old CSA was using an IT system that was "totally inadequate and notoriously riddled with defects", and as such it was costing £74 million per annum to run in operating costs alone.

Under the new rules if an amicable arrangement cannot be reached the paying parent - usually the father - will have a 20% fee added to the maintenance payment, while the receiving parent will pay 4% to get the money.

The charges will be introduced later this year, and all single parents will be charged an upfront fee of £20 for registering with the new service.

However, the chief executive of the single-parent charity Gingerbread, Fiona Weir, said she was "concerned" by the reforms. "While many parents are able to agree private child maintenance arrangements, for many other parents, this just isn't possible without government help.

For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of business related issues, contact us at ABDS.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

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