To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what arrangements are in place to ensure that parents with care responsibilities whose Child Support Agency (CSA) cases are subject to case closure and who are owed child maintenance arrears are fully informed about (a) the process and likely timescale of the arrears validation process, (b) the reasoning and calculations behind the finalised arrears balance figure they receive and (c) the options open to them regarding the collection of the finalised CSA debt following the closure of their case.
All letters sent to parents regarding the end of their CSA arrangement, make clear that arrears remain due or owed, even after liability ends.
After arrears have been validated, parents are advised, in writing, of the balance. The parent with care can speak to the CSA if they want to discuss how the figure has been arrived at in further detail. We cannot advise parents of the exact length or detail of the validation process, as it will depend on the circumstances of individual cases.
Both parties are advised to contact Child Maintenance Options for further information about the collection of their arrears. However, after validation, parents with care will be asked whether or not they wish their arrears to be collected.