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Record amount of child maintenance payments collected

On 14 December 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions announced new figures in relation to the Child Maintenance Service ("CMS"). Notably, in the 12 months to September 2021, the record-breaking figure of £1 billion of child maintenance payments was collected and arranged.

The figures also revealed that nearly 800,000 children are now covered by a child maintenance arrangement. The DWP described the CMS as a 'vital part of tackling poverty and helping to level up opportunity for children whose parents have separated, ensuring they get the best start in life'. Consequences for parents who do not pay were toughened in 2019, including by taking money directly from bank accounts and warnings of prison sentences. Sanctions applications can also be made to confiscate passports and seize driving licenses from non-paying parents. 

The DWP Lords Minister and Minister for Women Baroness Stedman-Scott said:

"We are securing significant sums for children who might otherwise have gone without, in turn helping to lift 120,000 children out of poverty every year. Whether parents use as a go-between or as an enforcer when money isn't being handed over, this service is changing the lives of children around the country."

For further information and statistics, click here.

Julia Queen, Barrister, Coram Chambers