Money Wellness
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calendar icon21 Jul 2023

Stronger maintenance protection for single parents

Ex-partners who don’t or won’t pay child maintenance are set to face tougher punishment much more quickly, after new laws were passed by the government yesterday to speed up stronger enforcement action.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will now be able to force the sale of property and revoke passports and driving licences through a simple administration process under the Child Support (Enforcements) Act.

The DWP will also be able to use the new powers to produce liability orders to reclaim unpaid maintenance, instead of having to wait up to 20 weeks in a long court application process.

The change will allow the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to act more promptly, meaning that families will receive maintenance much faster and outstanding payments won’t be able to build up.

However, the new laws are a last resort when it comes to securing fair maintenance payments for families. Before they reach this stage, the CMS has other options available including collecting earnings directly from an ex-partner’s employer, as well as taking it out of different bank accounts.

The CMS helps more than 900,000 children achieve the financial support they’re entitled to.

Between March 2022-2023, they collected or arranged £1.2 billion on behalf of children. And these maintenance payments help to keep 160,000 children out of poverty each year.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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