Child Support Agency Update

29 August 2008

There has been speculation for some time that the Child Support Agency is to be replaced, no doubt due to endless criticisms about the present system.

On 5th June, royal assent was granted to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008. 

As usual, the legislation is complex but the main points of importance for our clients is that a new system of calculation will come into effect and that the CSA is being abolished and a new body formed called the ‘Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission’ (which will no doubt be referred to as CMEC). 

The principal aim of CMEC will be “to encourage and support the making and keeping by parents of appropriate voluntary maintenance arrangements for their children”. 

As presently envisaged, the new rules of calculation for child support will apply in 2010 or 2011, and any existing cases will then be moved over to the new CMEC system over a period of three years.  Accordingly, everybody should be on the new CMEC rules by about 2013 or 2014. 

As to whether or not the new system will be an improvement on the present regime, only time will tell.

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