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www.divorcedparents.co.uk Kirstie Law


Kirstie Law VIEW FROM THE EXPERT


Kirstie outlines new government proposals allowing separating parties to A


consultation currently underway in relation to the Government’s proposals to


reform the child maintenance system in Great Britain is due to be concluded in October 2012, so if you want to have your say, now is the time to do so! Following increasing recognition that arrangements reached between sepa- rating parties by agreement are more likely to be successful and promote the best interests of children involved, the proposed maintenance scheme is intended to re-focus the system on supporting families to make their own arrangements. The proposals include the following: ● For the first time, all parents consid- ering applying for child maintenance via the state will be invited to discuss their situation and consider alterna- tive solutions.


● Under what will be called the Child Maintenance Service, there will be a


14 Divorced parents | www.divorcedparents.co.uk Home My story How can I help? What are the benefits? Finding


£20 application fee for parents who cannot make their own arrange- ments. In addition, the payer will pay an additional collection fee of 20% on top of the assessed maintenance, and the parent receiving maintenance will have 7% deducted from each payment to cover the cost of the collection service. The purpose of these charges is to encourage par- ents to consider whether they really need to use the statutory service, and to provide a strong incentive for parents to reach agreement without involving the collection service. The government hopes that being able to reach an agreement on child mainte- nance will build trust between sepa- rated couples.


● It is envisaged that the new system will be faster, fairer and better for parents and the taxpayer. The re- forms also propose to base assess- ments on information from HMRC,


Reform of Child Mainte


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