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Recent Changes to Child Maintenance

View profile for Victoria Poole
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The schemes set up to deal with child maintenance for separated parents have been previously referred to as the Child Support Agency (CSA) and the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) with the Child Maintenance Options (CMO) scheme that was set up to give free and impartial advice ( see www.cmoptions.org). You may now hear it being referred to as the Child Maintenance Service but for all intents and purposes, people often still refer to it as the CSA.

There have been changes over the years as to how child maintenance has been calculated with different percentages per child and also the income figure that is used to base the calculations on. Now the gross income of the paying (non-resident) parent is used and only pension contributions will be deducted. Then on the first £800 earned per week, the following percentages are applied:

12% for one child, 16% for two children and 19% for three or more children

On anything earned over £800 per week, an additional percentage is applied:

9% for one child, 12% for two children and 15% for three or more children

If the paying parent however is living with a new partner and they have a child, then a reduction for the paying parent will apply to the child maintenance calculation as follows:

12% for one child, 16% for two children and 19% for three or more children

There will be an annual review of the child maintenance and now charges have been applied for parents using the CSA to collect and enforce. There will be a one off application fee at the beginning of the case of £20 but in some cases this fee will be exempt. Then the paying parent will have to pay an extra 20% collection charge and the parent receiving the money will have 4% deducted from their child maintenance payments for collecting the money.

At Susan Howarth & Co, we like to take a positive and realistic approach when advising in relation to children and financial matters when couples separate. If this is something affecting you or if you’d like more information, please contact a member of our Family Law team on 01606 48777.

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