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Farewell to CSA Farewell to CSA

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Jan 14

Farewell to CSA

Written by Joanna Lofthouse
Senior Associate

DDI: 01423 724635
E: jo.lofthouse@raworths.co.uk

A Gradual Farewell to the Child Support Agency

Most people are only too aware of the problems encountered by the Child Support Agency (CSA). In an attempt to redress this, the newly-commissioned Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has been created and is now taking all new cases.

The new regimes key features are:

  • Encouraging a DIY approach with Family Based Arrangements
  • a shift from using net income to gross income to calculate maintenance
  • charges can now be made for using the CMS.

How do I arrange Child Maintenance?

Most families make an arrangement between themselves and it is advisable to have a written record of such an agreement.

If parents cannot agree, or if the paying parent won’t provide details of their income, an application can be made to the CMS who will calculate the sum payable from HMRC’s records. However, only the person who receives the Child Benefit can apply to use the CMS.

When is child maintenance payable?

The payment of child maintenance is a legal requirement for children under the age of 16 or under the age of 20 if they are in full time, non-advanced, education.

Who pays child maintenance?

The parent who doesn’t have the day-to-day care of the children and isn’t in receipt of Child Benefit.

How is child maintenance calculated?

The calculation is based in the most part on a percentage of the paying party’s weekly gross income:

  • Between £100.01 and £199.99  – £7 per week plus 17% of your gross income if you have one child, 25% if you have two children, or 31% if you have three or more children
  • Between £200 and £800 – 12% of your gross income if you have one child, 16% if you have two children, or 19% if you have three or more children.
  • Between £800.01 and £3,000 – on the first £800, 12% of your gross income if you have one child, 16% if you have two children or 19% if you have three or more children. Income over £800 up to £3,000 is payable at an additional  9%  if you have one child, 12% if you have two children or 15% if you have three or more children. No account is given for income over £3,000 per week.

What if the children divide their time between both parents?

Child maintenance is payable even if a child spends an equal amount of time with both parents; however a deduction is applied of 1/7th for every night a child spends with the paying parent. If the division of time is equal, the deduction is 50% plus a further deduction of £7 per child.

This is a broad overview and it should be noted that there are other factors which can affect payments.

Joanna Broadhead is a Chartered Legal Executive at Raworths Family Law and a member of Resolution. To contact Raworths telephone 01423 566666 or visit our offices at Eton House, 89 Station Parade, Harrogate, HG1 1HF. Alternatively, visit our website on www.raworths.co.uk or email jo.broadhead@raworths.co.uk

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