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Child Maintenance Service statistics published up to March 2022

The Department for Work and Pensions has published the latest official statistics for the usage of the Child Maintenance Service in the last quarter.

The Child Maintenance System is used by 18% of separated families to assist in their financial arrangements. There are two processes offered by the CMS - 'Direct Pay' and 'Collect and Pay'. 'Direct Pay' is a system by which the CMS calculates the maintenance due but the parents are responsible for transferring the money between themselves. The 'Collect and Pay' system not only calculates the maintenance due but goes one step further and arranges the transfer of the money between the parents. A fee of 20% is charged to the paying parent for this service and the receiving parent is charged 4% of the amount collected.

Amongst the various statistics published:

• In the quarter ending March 2022, of 164,500 Paying Parents due to pay via the Collect & Pay service:

o 60,700 (37%) paid no maintenance

o 103,700 (63%) paid some maintenance

• The percentage of parents paying something towards their maintenance has fallen by 5 percentage points, to 63%, since the last quarter

• There has been a 10 percentage points decrease in the percentage of parents paying over 90% of their maintenance due for the quarter, since the quarter ending March 2021, falling steadily from 53% to 43%.

For the full statistics and report, click here.

Julia Queen, Barrister, Coram Chambers