Child Support Reform

Child Support Reform

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The Committee's report examines the Government's proposals to reform the child support system, as set out in the White Paper qA new system of child maintenanceq (Cm. 6979, ISBN 9780101697927) published in December 2006, and following on from the report by Sir David Henshaw (Cm. 6894, ISBN 9780101689427) published in July 2006. The Committee welcomes the Government's reform proposals, including the eventual replacement of the Child Support Agency by a new body (Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (C-MEC)) in 2008 and the fundamental shift proposed towards maintenance agreements privately agreed between parents. However, concerns are raised over the lack of detail for proper scrutiny of how the new system will work, particularly in relation to the provision of advice and guidance services. The report also highlights a number of inherent contradictions between the principles and practicalities of the proposals, for example how the reforms will impact on child poverty targets in relation to parents on welfare benefits, as well as regarding the transition arrangements for the transfer of existing cases onto the new scheme run by C-MEC. Concerns are also raised that whatever the merit of joint birth registration, tagging this highly sensitive matter onto child maintenance legislation will have wider ramifications for the family law system.The DWP research report on parental attitudes to the child support reforms found that parents would prefer a one-stop shop where all ... It has to be realised that on relationship breakdown there are a lot of other problems that parents have, to do with housing, to do with ... services without any fear that there is going to be an element of bias a€” a#39;You have got to go this waya#39; or a#39;We need to take you that waya#39;.

Title:Child Support Reform
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Work and Pensions Committee
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2007


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