Crack­down on ab­sent dads’ joint ac­count money dodge

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - News - BY NIGEL NEL­SON Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

AB­SENT par­ents will no longer be able to avoid child pay­ments by open­ing bank ac­counts with new part­ners.

Fam­ily Sup­port min­is­ter Caro­line Di­ne­nage is to close a loop­hole which al­lows cash to only be taken from a run­away par­ent’s ac­count.

From next year she’ll be able to get it from joint ac­counts, too. That will stop par­ents or­dered to pay main­te­nance, mostly dads, con­niv­ing with a new lover to keep the money.

Ms Di­ne­nage said: “A small mi­nor­ity of par­ents try to cheat their way out of pay­ing to­wards their chil­dren. This new power will be an­other tool to tackle those who do.”

It is es­ti­mated chil­dren are be­ing ripped off £390,000 a year by the loop­hole. There will be safe­guards to en­sure the joint ac­count holder

does not lose out.

RE­FORM Caro­line Di­ne­nage

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