Government proposes reforms to child support system
Separating parents will have to pay a fee if they cannot come to an agreement between themselves about maintenance payments under Government proposals to reform the child support system.
The Government says the aim is to reduce conflict between parents and the subsequent impact on children.
Families Minister Maria Miller told the Daily Mail that the Government wants to encourage both parents to maintain contact with their children after separation and says that having effective financial arrangements in place makes this more likely.
She says some divorce and separation affects some 3.5 million children in the UK. In almost half of these cases there are no effective maintenance arrangements. Some 20% of children lose contact with the parent they do not live with within three years of separation.
Miller says non-resident parents owe £4bn in maintenance payments and that the child maintenance system costs £460 million a year.
She stated: "We know that the most effective and enduring arrangements are ones that parents come to themselves."