Introduction

From 25 November 2013 The Government is reforming the child maintenance system. It believes that not enough children in separated families benefit from an effective child maintenance arrangement and not enough parents are collaborating in the interests of their children.

Currently, only 50% of children benefit from effective child maintenance arrangements.  This means many children may not be getting the financial support they need to have the best start in life. 

The reforms are designed to put better support in place to help separated parents collaborate on issues that they face at separation and to make family-based child maintenance arrangements.

The Child Support Agency’s statutory schemes are also being phased out.  A new and improved statutory service, called the Child Maintenance Service, has been introduced and from 25 November 2013 it has been processing all new applications to its statutory scheme.  The Child Maintenance Service is available for those parents who are unable to make a family-based arrangement.

The Child Support Agency has stopped taking new applications into the statutory schemes it runs.  However, it will continue to manage existing cases on the 1993 and 2003 schemes until they are phased out. 

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