Children: Maintenance

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 18th March 2015.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Child Maintenance Service payments and Child Support Agency collections are made; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

As an employer, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes its duties in recovering child support maintenance very seriously. The MOD has a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to facilitate the direct deduction of child maintenance payments from the pay of non-resident parents who are Service personnel.

Where a parent asks the CMS to help obtain appropriate child support from a Service person, the MOD will assist the CMS in engaging with the Service person and will implement any Deduction from Earnings Request submitted by the CMS. This mechanism can also be applied to Service pensions and civilian pay.

The only exception is when the Service person is in an operational zone. Under the terms of the MOU, if a Service person is committed to operations, their Commanding Officer may delay any engagement with the CMS until the non-resident parent is in a position to consider any papers that the CMS may send them and respond appropriately.

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