What about those children whose parents are separated and one parent does not provide financially for their child, particularly during times like the recent Christmas period?
There are some significant changes to child maintenance enforcement powers.
The changes include extending income structures for calculation purposes; authorising deductions from joint accounts and unlimited partnership accounts and removing the right to a passport for parents who don’t pay.
The Child Maintenance Service works with HM Revenue & Customs to gather information on a parent’s earnings.
This information is used to assess how much a paying parent should pay in child maintenance to the parent who has the main day-to-day care of the child.
As well as the traditional sources of income [earnings from work, savings, investments and property] the service will now include assets such as coins, gold and property (not including the paying parent’s home); income generated from an asset over time or from a sale; foreign income; any unearned income, such as inheritance, rental income and interest on bank accounts
The paying parent will not have to sell their home or the property where they do their business to pay any additional child maintenance.
If there isn’t enough money in the paying parent’s individual account, deductions will be made from their joint account if they have one.
All account holders have the right to a review about reductions from the joint or unlimited partnership account.
The CMS also has the power to disqualify a paying parent from holding or obtaining a passport if they have consistently avoided paying their child maintenance debt.
If the debt is more than £1,000, there will be an application to the magistrates court for the paying parent to be disqualified for holding or getting a passport for up to two years.
Other enforcement methods available include: asking bailiffs to seize and sell belongings; preventing the paying parent from selling or remortgaging their house until the child maintenance debt is paid; forcing them to sell their house or other assets; taking away their driving licence; and applying for them to be sent to prison.
For more information contact Chris Burns on 0114 2766607 or firstname.lastname@example.org