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CSA Changes

The CSA is being replaced by the Child Maintenance Service. Parents can no longer apply to the CSA and apply to the Child Maintenance Service instead.

What’s The Difference?

There is an application fee

There is a £20 application fee to use the service. You don't have to pay the application fee if you are a victim of domestic violence, a resident of Northern Ireland or under the age of 19.

The Child Maintenance Service checks the income of your non-resident parent with the HMRC then they then provide you both with a maintenance calculation and a schedule for payments. You will be given information on how to arrange the payments directly between yourselves

You will now be able to access your child maintenance account online to track the payments and you will have an annual review whereby the Child Maintenance Service will check the income of your child's non-resident parent with HMRC every year to ensure you are still getting the right amount

Collection charges

From 11th August 2014 there will be additional charges if the Child Maintenance Service has to collect money from your child’s non-resident parent and pay it to you.

The paying parent will have to pay an additional 20% on top of the usual child maintenance amount, and you will have that child maintenance amount reduced by 4%. If your child’s non-resident parent pays the money directly to you, neither of you will have to pay these additional charges.

Existing arrears

If arrears have built up whilst your case was with the CSA, and you choose to use the Child Maintenance Service, the arrears will still stand and can be enforced.

Collect & Pay or Direct Pay Services

If you apply to the Child Maintenance Service and can arrange payment directly between yourselves there are no further fees to pay. This is called “Direct Pay”.

The service offers both parents the reassurance of knowing that if payments aren’t made the CMS can step in and make sure any missed payments are collected.

Parents who can’t use Direct Pay can use the Collect & Pay service, where the CMS will collect child maintenance from the paying parent and give it to the receiving parent. The fees for this service are 20%, as mentioned above in “Collection Charges”, for the non-resident parent and 4% for receiving parent.

 

Summary:

The CSA will become the CMS
There will be a £20 Application Fee unless you are exempt
If the non-resident parent fails to pay then they will have to pay an additional 20% on top of the usual maintenance and your maintenance will be reduced by 4%
Option of Direct Pay

Find out more about child maintenance arrangements at www.cmoptions.org

 

 

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