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Children: Maintenance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 30635, tabled on 10 March 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that absent parents financially support their children.

Answered on

18 March 2016

Child Maintenance Options provide free and impartial information and support to help separated parents make decisions about their child maintenance arrangements. For parents who are unable to make a family-based arrangement the government has introduced a new statutory Child Maintenance Service, which will bring speedier processing of applications, simpler calculations and faster enforcement action, where necessary.

Where parents fail to fulfil their financial responsibilities towards their children we have a range of strong enforcement powers at our disposal. These powers include deducting maintenance directly from earnings, instructing bailiffs to collect arrears or seize goods, forcing the sale of property, disqualification from driving and commitment to prison.