Child Maintenance: How to apply for self-service
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Child Maintenance is an arrangement which is made between one person and the other parent of their child. These arrangements are usually necessary when a couple has split up, and one parent takes care of the child concerned on a primary basis. The person with the main day-to-day care of the child receives a sum from the paying parent who does not have main caring duties.
However, in some cases, the paying parent can avoid providing the money due in the case of their child.
This was a situation faced by one single mother who raised and financially supported her daughter alone.
The mother’s claim for Child Maintenance first began in the early 1990s, however, only £40 was paid by her ex-partner before their daughter’s 18th birthday.
The father in question continued to avoid his responsibilities, however, the case ended up catching up to him.
His arrears were paid off in full when he sold a property that the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) had placed a charging order on.
This allowed the CMS to collect the debt on behalf of the mother as soon as the sale was complete.
The payment, in total, came in at a staggering £18,000, and was received by the mother last month.
Commenting on the progress, the mother said: “I want to thank the CMS for their persistence in securing the arrears, as I felt like giving up.
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“This is a big help to my financial security after years of struggling to raise my daughter, who is now 31.”
In most cases, separated parents can come to an amicable agreement about how they wish to manage payments.
However, the CMS has said it will step in if issues arise in attempts to secure payments.
Baroness Stedman-Scott, DWP Lords Minister, also commented on the case.
She said: “This is a remarkable recovery by the CMS for a mother who – for years – was denied financial support by the father of her child.
“Even when she wanted to give up, the CMS kept going.
“The message is clear to any parent trying to duck their duties: you can’t just wait it out.
“We will persist and pursue debt on behalf of children.”
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The CMS has vowed to continue to pursue new and old cases in order to ensure children are supported.
Latest figures suggest almost £1billion was collected and arranged by the CMS for children in 2020.
These maintenance payments, it is asserted, lift approximately 120,000 children out of poverty each year.
Data up to June showed 783,000 children were now covered by child maintenance arrangements in Great Britain – up almost 50,000 on the same time last year.
Between January and June 2021, over £507million was collected and arranged by the CMS.
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