Parents to be fined for payment failures16th July 2012
Parents are to be handed penalties if they fail to make their child maintenance payments as part of a new maintenance system being introduced by the Government.
It comes after the abolition of the much-criticised Child Support Agency and aims to encourage separated parents to sort out their own payment arrangements.
The fines include a £300 penalty when a liability order has to be obtained from the courts and a £200 surcharge when money has to be taken directly from bank accounts using a deduction order.
Those who apply to the Child Maintenance Service will be required to pay an initial £20 collection fee plus additional collection fees thereafter. The paying parent will be charged 20% on top of each assessed payment, plus a further 7% deducted from the amount the receiving parent is given.
The Government is to also spend £20 million on support services, including mediation, counselling and online advice, to help parents come to their own arrangements.