News - Child Maintenance Options

More parents offered child maintenance help.

1 March 2011

Thousands of newly-separated parents are to be offered free information and support on arranging child maintenance from today thanks to a new initiative.

Parents on tax credits who contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to report changes of circumstance following family breakdown can now choose a call-back from the Child Maintenance Options service.

An estimated 91,000 children are already benefiting from collaborative family-based maintenance arrangements agreed between parents after contacting Child Maintenance Options – 30,000 more than a year ago. A similar number of children are benefiting from Child Support Agency arrangements made after one of their parents used the service.

Director of the Child Maintenance Options service, Janet Wojtkow, said:

We’re concerned some parents may have missed out on help with child maintenance because they were reluctant or frightened to find out what their options might be, or simply didn’t know where to go to get the help they needed.

As difficult and as tense a time as separation can be, making sure children are supported financially is a priority for parents. We hope our new initiative for people on tax credits will ensure lots more parents get the help and support they need to come to a child maintenance arrangement that suits them.

It is estimated that around 60,000 people each year could benefit from this new initiative.

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