Family Law News Edinburgh

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Benefit claimants to pay more child maintenance

Parents on income-related benefits who live apart from their children are to have the amount of child maintenance they must pay increased from £5 to £10 per week.

The change will apply to clients of the new statutory child maintenance scheme.

In addition, a widely resented Child Support Agency rule will be scrapped for clients of the new scheme. This rule required some parents to pay maintenance even though they share the care of their children on a 50-50 basis. In future no maintenance will need to be paid in cases like these where care is shared exactly equally.

The Government is also making changes to the way maintenance is calculated to get closer to equalising the treatment of children living with and living apart from the non-resident parent.

“The Government wants to encourage and support parents to make their own family-based arrangements whenever possible because they are better for families. We are also committed to providing a much better statutory service for those separated parents for whom this is not possible,” said Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller.

“We will be introducing the new scheme through a pathfinder from October. It will be faster and simpler than the two Child Support Agency schemes now in operation. And most importantly, it will be fairer for both mums and dads,” she added.

Adoption system failing to support families
SCRA Official Statistics 2011/12

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