Family Law News Edinburgh

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Child maintenance governance changes

The Government is inviting views on plans to bring the child maintenance system back into the heart of government, in order to improve accountability and assist in the process of reform.


It is proposing to transfer the functions of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) into the Department for Work and Pensions, under direct Ministerial control.

The current Child Support Agency schemes are set to close to new users from next year. This will see the end of a failing system, long overdue for reform, replaced by a single new, streamlined child maintenance service. It will be the biggest overhaul of the system since it was first set up in 1993.

The abolition of CMEC as a non-departmental body will also help with the Government’s drive to reduce the number of public bodies across government.

The DWP are now consulting on this structural change. The Government’s wider child maintenance reforms are designed to ensure more separated parents have effective financial support in place for their children for the first time. Parents will be supported and helped to make their own, family-based child maintenance arrangements, which, research shows, more than half of parents who currently use the statutory system would prefer.

A new, streamlined and more efficient statutory child maintenance scheme, replacing those currently run by the Child Support Agency, will be introduced for those who need it.


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