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Law Articles

Information for parents owed child maintenance payments 09/12/2018

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published guidance for parents owed historical debt under the old Child Support Agency system. The DWP says that it will write to both parents about the historical debt owed if it is over £500 and the case is less than 10 years old or the debt is over £1,000 and the case is more than 10 years old.

The following must also apply:

  • the case is a historical debt only and has no on-going liability;
  • no payment has been made in the past three months; and
  • the debt has built up under the CSA (it may have now moved to the Child Maintenance Service as part of the CSA case closure).

The parent with care of the child(ren) will be able to ask the DWP to try and collect the debt. The guidance explains how that parent should apply, what will happen if the DWP cannot collect the debt and what will happen if there is a chance it can collect the debt. If the DWP is confident that it can successfully collect the debt, it will verify the amount of debt owed and will move the case from the CSA computer system to the CMS computer system. There are several ways in which the debt can be collected, including making deductions from the paying parent's earnings, sending regular or lump sum Deduction Orders to the paying parent and, in exceptional cases, sending Court Orders to the paying parent.

For the guidance click here.

For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.

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Manor Law Ltd, trading as Manor Law Family Solicitors, is a registered company in England and Wales - number 7977350, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Hertford office SRA number 567506 and City of London office SRA number 568637. Copyright © Manor Law, 2016. All rights reserved.
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