Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th July 2020.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Disabilities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when and under what conditions her Department plans to re-start enforcing actions to collect maintenance under the Child Maintenance Service.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The purpose of the Child Maintenance Service is to facilitate the payment of child maintenance between separated parents. Paying parents are still expected to pay child maintenance. This was the case during the COVID-19 public health emergency and it remains the expectation as the UK gradually transitions into a post-COVID lockdown phase.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal.

In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, we are updating cases with notified changes. Where payments have been missed the Service is taking action to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued.

Those found to be abusing the system are subject to the full extent of our enforcement powers and the Child Maintenance Service will pursue these, where appropriate.

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