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Consultation on new child maintenance proposals
The Government has recently unveiled its proposals for the new child maintenance scheme. Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller said the Government wants to increase child maintenance payments for some of the worst-off single parent families.
The Government aims to provide better support to parents to tackle all the issues they face at separation or divorce, and allow them to make collaborative family-based arrangements.
The new statutory child maintenance scheme will be offered as a fall-back option for parents who cannot collaborate, and, according to the Government, will be fairer, faster and less costly to the taxpayer. It will also be much less dependent on what non-resident parents choose to disclose about their incomes.
The proposals include:
- Proposed increase in the ‘Flat rate’ child maintenance deductions from state benefits above the £7 rate previously announced - helping some of the worst-off single parent families.
- Payments will usually be based on the non-resident parent’s latest tax-year gross income, sourced directly from HM Revenue & Customs.
- For the first time, maintenance assessments will be reviewed annually to ensure they remain fair and accurate.
- Parents who share the care of their children exactly equally will no longer be required to pay maintenance through the statutory scheme.
- Proposed fairer rules in relation to ‘second families’ will reduce the gap between financial support for children living apart from non-resident parents and those living with them.
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