Consultation on Child Maintenance: modernising and improving our service

Consultation opened on 18 June 2021. Closing date 06 August 2021.


The consultation is to inform the Government's proposed changes to Child Maintenance Regulations.

Consultation description

The author for this consultation is the Department for Work and Pensions. As such, all consultation information, related documents and consultation response can be found on the website

Depending on the outcome of the consultation and subject to parliamentary timetables, following publication we will aim to change regulations to enable:

  • unearned income held by HMRC to be included in CMS calculations alongside paying parents’ earned income
  • evidential requirements for self-employed parents to be eased where a change that has breached the income tolerance has been reported
  • small volumes of low value debt to be extinguished where the value of the debt is substantially less than the cost of collecting it
  • arrears to be extinguished where:
    • child maintenance has been deducted from a parent’s earnings where their employer has gone into administration; and
    • we are unable to recover the outstanding arrears from the trustee handling the companies’ insolvency
  • all CMS notifications to be sent, received and accessed digitally 
  • the following organisations to provide information when requested to do so in a timely manner: private pension providers, academy schools, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and all types of companies that offer, promote or sell investment management services or facilitate share trading.

In general, Northern Ireland’s Child Maintenance policy and legislation operate in line with Britain and there is, in effect, a single Child Maintenance system. It is anticipated therefore that any changes will be introduced here, subject to the necessary Ministerial, Executive and Assembly approvals.

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