Bucks par­ents owe £2.3 mil­lion in child main­te­nance ar­rears

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

PAR­ENTS in Buck­ing­hamshire have some of the high­est lev­els of child main­te­nance ar­rears in the UK.

There was £2.3m owed in child main­te­nance ar­rears by par­ents from South Bucks at the end of June, an av­er­age of £3,914 per live case, one of the high­est av­er­ages in the UK.

But the amount owed is down from £2.6m in June 2015. Also 93% of par­ents in the area with a cur­rent li­a­bil­ity to their chil­dren are con­tribut­ing.

Na­tion­ally the num­ber of cases with ar­rears at the end of the quar­ter has de­creased from March 2016 when it was 1,127,200 and now stands at 1,059,100 in June 2016.

As part of the Govern­ment’s Wel­fare Re­form agenda a new Child Main­te­nance Ser­vice (CMS) was in­tro­duced with all child main­te­nance cases to be gov­erned by the same rules. This will be achieved by end­ing li­a­bil­ity for cases on the pre­vi­ous child main­te­nance schemes (1993 and 2003 schemes) and invit­ing clients to con­sider mak­ing their own fam­ily­based ar­range­ments or to ap­ply to the CMS. Cases on the pre­vi­ous child main­te­nance schemes are due to have their child main­te­nance li­a­bil­ity ended by 31 De­cem­ber 2017 (known as the tran­si­tion pe­riod). In or­der to do this, the Child Sup­port Agency (CSA) is con­tact­ing all clients to in­form them that their child main­te­nance li­a­bil­ity will end, and of­fer sup­port to put a new ar­range­ment in place.

There has been a big de­crease in cases pay­ing noth­ing; this is likely due to the clo­sure of non-com­pli­ant cases as part of the case clo­sure process. Cases pay­ing noth­ing have de­creased from 32,400 in March 2016 to 26,400 in June 2016. This is an 18.5% de­crease.

The big­gest pro­por­tional change in caseload sta­tus in the quar­ter is in the cases pay­ing less than li­a­bil­ity.

These have de­creased from 37,900 in March 2016 to 27,100 in June 2016, this is a de­crease of 28.5%

Out­stand­ing main­te­nance ar­rears have de­creased to £3,584 mil­lion in June 2016 when com­pared to £3,708m in March 2016.

The pro­por­tion of male to fe­male non-res­i­dent par­ents in June 2016 is in line with pre­vi­ous quar­ters, with a male non-res­i­dent par­ent in nine out of 10 live cases.

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