Many children are still missing out on vital support out as parents remain in the dark.
More than a quarter of those surveyed (27%) by YouGov were unaware they could make maintenance arrangements privately. Since October 2008, all parents, including those in receipt of benefits, are free to make their own maintenance arrangements as an alternative to using the statutory service administered by the Child Support Agency, or the courts.
Child Maintenance Options service chairwoman, Janet Paraskeva, said: “Too many children are missing out, partly because parents are receiving conflicting advice. Child Maintenance Options is here to provide the facts and explain the different types of arrangements everyone can now make.”
The service, covering England, Scotland and Wales and available on the internet and by phone, provides information on the three main forms of arranging child maintenance – privately, via the courts or through the CSA – and also points to other sources of advice and support. It includes an online maintenance calculator, which gives an idea of the amount of child maintenance separated parents might pay or receive and details of financial support to which parents may be entitled.
“Private arrangements can be a good solution for many, offering flexibility and building collaboration,” Paraskeva said. “Some parents, of course, will not be able to agree. For them the CSA is available.”
For information and help on child maintenance, visit the Child Maintenance website or call the freephone helpline 0800 988 0988 (open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 9am to 4pm).
Why not read the DadTalk article ‘Child Maintenance Options’
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