Enforcement charges are intended to encourage parents to comply with their commitments, as well as to help off-set the administrative cost of taking enforcement action. The enforcement charges are lower than the actual cost to the Department for taking the action. To charge the full cost could have an adverse effect and encourage non-compliance, as well as being potentially disproportionate to the size of the debt. The levels are designed to be proportionate to the type, and seriousness, of the order that is being pursued.
Enforcement charges are only collected once the ongoing maintenance and any arrears due have, been paid.