Child Support (Enforcement) Act 2023
Following agreement by both Houses of Parliament on the text of the Child Support (Enforcement) Bill, it received Royal Assent on 20 July. This means that the bill is now an Act of Parliament, though we await formal publication by the Ministry of Justice.
The Act enables the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to pursue parents who are liable for child maintenance but fail to pay. The CMS will always encourage parents to try and set up their own payment arrangement through direct pay but if this proves unsuccessful, the CMS already have the power to offer a collect and pay service where they act as the middleman between the parents. Now this new law will allow the CMS to make certain liability orders without having to apply to the courts. Enforcement actions ought therefore to be used more swiftly against non-compliant parents and could result in children receiving owed money more quickly.
If you are experiencing any difficulties with your ex-partner over maintenance or the arrangements for your children, contact our family team on 01473 611 211 to book an initial consultation.
Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.