Fees Go Live

From 30th June 2014 the Child Maintenance Service will introduce an application fee of £20 for any new application made. Charges for enforcement against any 2012 scheme arrears will also be introduced from 30.06.14.

The ethos of the new Child Maintenance Service is to encourage parents to make their own arrangements for child maintenance payments, but where there is a need to collect the payments further charges will apply. 

There are more details about the actual charges at our web-page:

Unlikely to Pay Test

Unlike the 1993/CS1 and the 2003/CS2 schemes, Direct Payments can be requested by one parent without the consent of the other. However, if the Receiving Parent (previously known as the PWC) prefers that the case remains on Collect and Pay service, the Paying Parent may be subjected to an "Unlikely To Pay" test.

The Unlikely to Pay Test consists of a 'compliance opportunity' for a period of 6 months, and collection charges will be applicable during this period.  If the payment is made without default during the compliance opportunity, the case will be moved to the Direct Pay service and no further charges will apply.

There are no appeal rights against a decision to instigate the Unlikely to Pay test, but if the parent believes this is inappropriate, representations can be made via the complaints process.

New Applications on 2012/CS3 scheme:

The Unlikely to Pay Test will not be applied if a new application is made as there is no history to determine any non payment. 

If however the Paying Parent indicates that there is no intention to pay, the case will be set to Collect and Pay from the outset, and charges will be applied.

Existing 2012/CS3 Cases:

The Unlikely to Pay test will not be applied if:

  • The existing CS3 case has a history of full compliance.
  • The existing CS3 case has arrears due (from 2012 scheme only) and all of those arrears are repaid in full by 05th August 2014.
  • If the Receiving Parent requests Direct Pay

For cases that do not meet this criteria the Unlikely To Pay Test may be instigated.

Existing CS1/CS2 Cases:

The Unlikely to Pay Test will be applicable only when an existing case is closed and any new application is made under the 2012 scheme.  There will be no Unlikely to Pay Test imposed against any live CS1 or CS2 case.

The Receiving Parent cannot refuse a direct pay arrangement as is the case on existing CS1/CS2 schemes, but any request made for the application to be scheduled on Collect and Pay service will prompt a review of the account to determine if the Unlikely to Pay Test is necessary. Factors for consideration will include:

  • If there is evidence that the Paying Parent will not pay at all – the case will be scheduled onto Collect and Pay with charges without any consideration of the Unlikely to Pay Test.
  • If there is evidence of possible compliance, the Unlikely to Pay Test will be instigated, providing the Paying Parent with a 6 month compliance opportunity to demonstrate full compliance.
  • Any history of missed payments will instigate the Unlikely to Pay Test again providing the opportunity to comply fully.
  • If the review finds that there has been compliance throughout, the Test will not be applied and the case will be scheduled on Direct Pay.

Any Paying Parent who was subject to a Deduction from Earnings Order at the point of their case closure, will be subject to the Unlikely to Pay Test, but must have paid a full 6 months DEO payments before the 6 months Compliance Opportunity is applied.  Charges will be applied throughout the whole period.

Any Paying Parent subject to any other form of enforcement measures at the point case closure will be subject to a 9 month Compliance Opportunity before being considered for a Direct Pay service. If however the arrears (accrued on 2012 scheme only ) are paid in full, the compliance opportunity will be reduced to 6 months.