Parents who have experienced domestic abuse are exempt from paying the application fee. There are no ongoing charges for using Direct Pay, which is designed to be a safe service for victims of domestic abuse.
The CMS provides advice and support to help parents use the Service, without needing to have contact with an abusive ex-partner. This includes acting as an intermediary and providing information to parents about how to set up non-traceable payment methods. In addition, all CMS caseworkers have received specific training, developed with input from Women’s Aid, on domestic abuse so they can quickly identify parents who need additional support.
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.