New powers are going to be introduced for the Child Maintenance Service to assist with continued difficulties in collecting child maintenance arrears.

Until now maintenance payment arrears could not be taken from accounts where there are other account holders. There were fears accounts were often put in joint names with third parties to avoid the CMS being able to make claim against the balance in such accounts. The DWP has consulted on this issue and concluded such accounts can be pursued, after forensic examination of how the account is used by the joint account holders. This is intended to protect accounts where the balance may properly be jointly owned. There are likely to be some issues and costs involved in this change to the CMS powers, but it is interesting to see the attempts being made to restrict child maintenance avoiders!

If you have any queries about child maintenance calculations, appeals or enforcement please do not hesitate to contact me.

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