There are significant doubts that the new system for chasing child maintenance payments from absent fathers will be any better than the Child Support Agency (CSA) it is replacing (Rosemary Bennett writes).
Separating parents will be encouraged to make their own arrangements by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC), which becomes operational in October.
This will reduce CMEC’s workload to allow it to focus on fathers who go to extreme lengths to avoid paying maintenance. Research commissioned by ministers suggests that eight out of ten parents would want to use CMEC and think that seeking voluntary agreements with their ex-partner is a waste of time. The CSA is chasing £3.3 billion owed to single mothers and its backlog of cases stands at 300,000.