Advisory bodies and professional advisers
Giving advisory bodies and other professional advisers accurate and detailed information from the Child Maintenance Service.
Visits to advisory groups
The outreach Service was launched in October 2005 to promote awareness of the Northern Ireland Child Maintenance Service, improve relationships and communications with the service's stakeholder groups, improve service to clients and ultimately get money to more children.
To promote and introduce the service, the outreach team initially visited Community Advice, Homestart, Women’s Aid, and many other community based advice groups. The service was extended to MP constituency offices and to MLA offices.
The outreach team has delivered a range of services including client surgeries – interviews with clients and liaison between CMS staff and MP/MLA offices.
Information seminars / informal presentations have been delivered to a range of organisations including:
- The Forces Welfare Services
- Women’s Aid
- Love for Life
- Community Advice
- twenty six Housing Executive offices
- MP constituency offices
- Men's Action Network
To date, outreach staff have been involved in over 2,200 CMS cases and have provided guidance and information to prospective CMS clients.
Feedback from stakeholders has been excellent, resulting in an increase in requests for the outreach service. MP/MLA offices in particular appreciate CMS staff coming to see their constituents.
You can e-mail the outreach service at mailto:BELFAST.NIOUTREACH@dfcni.gov.uk
Ethnic liaison officers
Ethnic liaison activity is undertaken in the Northern Ireland Child Maintenance Service an outreach officer. This role includes helping to improve service delivery and future policy for our ethnic minority clients.
Our outreach officer would be happy to come out to give talks to ethnic groups and organisations. You can e-mail the service at email@example.com
Through research and consultation we are constantly developing the level of service advisers and professionals can expect from us. This allows us to focus our resources in the most efficient way to get the best results for our clients.
Our aims are to:
- use the information from your feedback to improve the service the agency supplies to you
- create an organisation that understands its business and the business of advisers' to help us achieve the best for those who need our help the most
- provide pro-active and co-ordinated information to advisers to ensure you have relevant and up to date information
Child Support Scheme
New child maintenance rules have now been introduced for all new applications since November 2013. All child maintenance cases now governed by the new rules.
Changes to payment agreement actions
Changes to how Child Maintenance Service (CMS) calculate maintenance payments due from parents with complex earnings and changes to the deductions process for parents holding a joint or unlimited partnership type bank account.
Changes to the child maintenance calculation for complex income
CMS works with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to gather information on a parent’s earnings.
This information includes:
- earnings from work
- earnings from property
- savings and investments
This information is used to assess how much a paying parent should pay in child maintenance to the receiving parent.
There are some parents who are complex earners and it is more difficult to calculate how much they should pay in child maintenance. Complex earners are people who earn money through various channels, including for example company directors and the self-employed.
Complex earners have some control over the way in which their income is paid to them, and are required by HMRC to complete a self-assessment tax return.
CMS will now include other types of income in the child maintenance calculation, as per below:
- assets such as coins, gold and property (not including the paying parent’s home)
- income generated from an asset over time such as property or land, or income generated from a sale
- foreign income
- any unearned income, such as inheritance, rental income and interest on bank accounts
The paying parent will not be expected to pay more child maintenance if they have to sell their home or the property where they do their business.
How CMS deals with complex earners
The Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) can decide to change a child maintenance calculation if their investigations show that a parent is deliberately hiding their income.
The FIU can also order the parent to pay child maintenance that they have previously avoided.
Deductions from joint and unlimited partnership accounts
CMS can now make deductions from joint accounts and unlimited partnership accounts.
CMS always tries to make child maintenance deductions from a paying parent’s individual account first. If there is not enough money in their individual account, CMS will try to make deductions from their joint account if they have one.
Unlimited partnership accounts
If there is not enough money in the paying parent’s individual account or joint account, CMS will try to make deductions from their unlimited partnership account if they have one.
To make sure CMS protects other people who may also have access to the unlimited partnership account, it will not make deductions if the account balance is less than £2000.
Challenge a decision about deductions from a joint or unlimited partnership account
All of the account holders have the right to ask CMS to review a decision about deductions from the joint or unlimited partnership account. They must provide information about the amount each person contributes to the account and if applicable, how the business uses the account.
If it’s not clear how much of the account funds belong to the paying parent, the amount will be split by the number of account holders. For example, if there are 2 account holders including the paying parent, CMS will make the deduction based on a 50 percent share of the income.
Decision Making Annual Reports - Child Maintenance Service
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report On Decision Making 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014
- Child Maintenance Service Annual Report on Decision Making 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013
If you require a copy of any of our leaflets please contact Child Maintenance Service.
2012 Child Maintenance Scheme leaflets
|Leaflet number||Leaflet name|
|CMSB001NI||About the Child Maintenance Service|
|CMSB003NI||Getting someone to manage your child maintenance case|
|CMSB004NI||Changes you need to tell us about|
|CMSB005NI||What happens if you don’t pay child maintenance?|
|CMSB006NI||What happens if a paying parent doesn’t pay child maintenance?|
|CMSB007NI||How we work out child maintenance|
|CMSB008NI||The Annual Review - how it works|
|CMSB009NI||Paying child maintenance|
|CMSB010NI||What happens if someone denies they are the parent of a child?|
|CMSB011NI||What to do if you're unhappy with the Child Maintenance Service|
|CMSB013NI||Receiving child maintenance|
|CMSB042NI||Understanding your child maintenance statement - a guide for paying parents|
|CMSB043NI||Understanding your child maintenance statement - a guide for receiving parents|
|CMSB050NI||Choosing a new child maintenance arrangement|