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Forthcoming changes to Child Maintenance Service announced

The government is planning to make changes in secondary legislation relating to child maintenance, as parliamentary time allows, to bring into force changes to:

• include unearned income in child maintenance calculations

• extinguish small volumes of very low value debt (£6.99 and under) where the maintenance calculation has ended but there remains an outstanding debt, and the value of the debt is substantially less than the cost of collecting it

• extinguish arrears where child maintenance has been deducted from a parent's earnings and their employer has gone into administration, and the outstanding arrears can no longer be recovered.

The announcement follows publication of the government's response to the submissions to the consultation Child Maintenance: modernising and improving our service.

The new powers being introduced will also expand the list of companies and organisations required to provide information to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) which will help the service trace the paying parent, calculate maintenance and enforce arrears more effectively.

To make it easier for companies to respond quickly and securely, the process is now being simplified so information can be passed on by secure digital means instead of compulsory in-person visits from CMS inspectors.

For the announcement, click here. For the government response to the consultation submissions, click here.