Child Benefit

Treasury written question – answered on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Chair, Women and Equalities Committee, Chair, Women and Equalities Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to enable child benefit claims to be split between parents.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

At present, the law provides for Child Benefit to be paid to one parent only. The parent who claims Child Benefit can voluntarily choose to pay an agreed proportion to the other parent. Where parents separate and both have care of their child, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) encourages them to agree who should claim Child Benefit. Where they cannot reach an agreement, the law allows HMRC to decide, at their discretion, who should receive the payment.

Currently there are no plans to change the law to split payments of Child Benefit where parents have separated and share care of their children. The government believes that directing payment to the person mainly responsible for the child best ensures that the money goes to the person most likely to bear the weight of everyday care and expenditure.

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