About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Paying for children: never never?

Former Law Society Chief Executive, Janet Paraskeva, has been appointed as the Chair Designate of the Child Maintenance & Enforcement Commission to be established by a Bill which is up for its Third Reading this week. See the announcement by the CSA .

The aims of the CMEC & the Bill are to:

  • Establish a new child maintenance delivery organisation, to be known as the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, to deliver child maintenance and replace the Child Support Agency.
  • End the requirement that parents with care who claim certain benefits are automatically treated as having applied for child maintenance, encourage parents to make their own child maintenance arrangements, and give them more choice as to how they do so.
  • Streamline and simplify how child maintenance is calculated enabling money to get to more children more quickly.
  • Introduce tougher enforcement powers to collect arrears of child maintenance from parents who fail to pay.
  • Introduce powers to reduce child maintenance debt more effectively
  • Introduce a new scheme to make lump sum payments to people suffering from mesothelioma who were previously ineligible for such payments, within 6 weeks of them making a claim.



The NACSA website sets out more precise details on what the is proposed by the new scheme and what they think about it. Another note of scepticism is sounded by the Chair of Resolution's Child Support Committee, Kim Fellowes as reported on Family Lore . Resolution's press release on the subject is now on their new website .

Clearly the CSA will not be sorely missed by Journalist Clover Stroud, from whose article in the Sunday Times (He Won't Pay - so I Have To) will be happy to dance on its coffin when it finally goes.

Unfortunately this will not be until 2009 for existing cases and 2010/2011 for new cases.

1 comment:

David Chaplin said...

Dr Peter Howarth has emailed Family Law Week to point us in the direction of a memoranda he submitted to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill
Committee on the issue of the inequality that can be caused where the 'absent parent' spends as much time caring for the children but ends up paying proportionally more.
(see the
Parliament website


Others have also questioned the fairness of this: see the Clarendon chambers blog and John Bolch's Family Lore blog