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DWP announces new powers for the CMS to crack down on parents who refuse to pay

Parents who wilfully refuse to pay maintenance for their children will face swifter enforcement action. £20 CMS application fee will be scrapped from 26 February so no child misses out.

The government is reforming the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to crack down on parents who refuse to pay and ensure children get the support they deserve more quickly.

In October, the government consulted on measures to give the CMS more powers to recover money faster to crack down on parents who repeatedly fail to take financial responsibility for their children.

On 12 February the government published the response to this consultation, confirming these reforms will be accelerated to make the system fairer for children and parents.

The government is also removing the £20 application fee for child maintenance service and making all applications free from 26 February 2024, to ensure no child misses out on vital support.”

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride MP said:

“We know the vast majority of parents strive each and every day to give their children the best possible start in life.

But those who shirk the financial responsibilities they have for their children must be quickly held to account. That’s why we are fast-tracking enforcement from six months to six weeks – making the system fairer for parents and above all for children.

The consultation also sought views on proposed regulations which mean the CMS can use an administrative liability order to recover unpaid child maintenance instead of having to apply to the courts.

This change will help reduce the time it takes to obtain a liability order, from around 22 weeks to as little as six to eight weeks – and ensure that further action such as forced sale of property or disqualification from driving can be considered much sooner.

Around 10,000 parents a year who wilfully refuse to pay maintenance will be affected by the law change, creating more financial security for thousands of children and parents.”

Read the full article below.

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