Changes to the Child Support System
Child Support in England and Wales was assessed by the Child Support Agency (CSA) if the parents were unable to agree voluntary support. A three year process of closing all existing CSA cases is currently under way and the CSA has stopped taking on new cases. Instead, newly separated parents are encouraged to make their own family-based arrangements or to use the new Child Maintenance Service.
The Department for Work and Pensions is in the process of writing to all parents whose cases are with the CSA with details of when their case will close and advice about the next steps. There is no requirement to act until receipt of the letter. However, it is very likely to be the case that since an initial CSA assessment was made, it may be advantageous to the claiming parent to ask for a new assessment by the Child Maintenance Service. This is because the new statutory child maintenance system is more robust, using data from the tax authorities, so that maintenance may become payable when a new assessment is carried out, even if it was not before. Further, the calculation of child maintenance has changed.
If you would like advice in connection with child support, please contact our Family Department.
t: 020 7227 7448