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Separating parents to pay government to work out child support?


Published: 10th January 2011 - Category: Children - Author: Lynne Bastow

In this age of Government cut backs and the Tory aim to promote marriage, the Government is considering charging separating couples if the Child Support Agency, or it’s replacement, is involved according to the Daily Telegraph.

It is too expensive to run the Child Support Agency. Why not refer the matter back to Court along with the rest of the Divorce? Oh yes, the Government are trying to encourage separating couples to mediate rather than use the Courts.

The Child Support Agency has been replaced by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission which is also going to be replaced. Meanwhile The Child Support Agency carries on dealing with Child maintenance issues.

They state that their backlog has decreased dramatically. In my dealings with them, I only ever elicit a response when I threaten to complain. Some of their rules are just plain nonsense. They can only ask for certain information at each stage and it is beholden on the party to ask why, what, when, how? They make a decision without revealing the reason so again a major investigation is needed to work out what is going on. Under data protection they will not reveal income details to the parent with care. The whole system is unsatisfactory and the variation and appeal process is time consuming and again it is up to the parent to request this.

If the Courts dealt with child support they would have full financial disclosure as would both parents. The procedure would be explained. Appropriate Court fees could be charged.

The threat of a Child Support Agency charge is not going to make people decide to stay married. Or maybe it will… how sad is that? Imagine the kitchen plaque: “We only stay together because of the Child Support Agency“.

Lynne Bastow - Divorce Solicitor

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