Consultation on Improving the Collection and Transfer of Maintenance Payments

Consultation opened on 08 May 2024. Closing date 31 July 2024 at 23:59.


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

The purpose of the consultation is to gain a greater understanding of views on potential changes to direct pay, collection fees, and how the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) supports victims and survivors of domestic abuse and how we can better encourage family-based arrangements.

This consultation is open to the public. We would be particularly interested to hear from organisations representing separated families and children, as well as individuals who have used the CMS, those who have accessed other family support, such as mediation and those who have separated but not sought any support.

This consultation applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Please note the statistics used in the consultation are Great Britain wide only. Please see the Department for Communities website for the latest Northern Ireland Child Maintenance Statistics. Any variances in policy or services provided by CMS in Northern Ireland are referenced and footnoted in the consultation accordingly.

The section titled ‘Get Help Arranging Child Maintenance’, and associated Questions in Chapter 1 of the consultation, may not be directly applicable to consultees in Northern Ireland. The Get Help Arranging Child Maintenance Service is an online support service available for separated parents in England & Wales. An equivalent service for parents in Northern Ireland is known as ‘Child Maintenance Choices’. Accordingly, consultees in Northern Ireland may experience difficulty in answering Questions 1 – 3.

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 arising from this consultation will be introduced here in Northern Ireland, subject to the necessary Ministerial, Executive and Assembly approvals.

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