£35 million owed in child support by non-paying parents
People in Bedfordshire may know that many parents either fail to pay their child support or fall behind. A new report shows that UK parents owe £35 million in support to children, a figure that is alarming.
According to the Child Maintenance Service, almost half of parents who are ordered to pay are late at least once. Gingerbread, a charity for single parents, points out that when child support doesn’t arrive, children suffer because they have to forgo things and bills go unpaid. Fortunately, seven out of eight parents ordered to pay child support fulfill their obligations, but the burgeoning amount that is owed must still be addressed.
When parents do not receive child support that they should, they can choose to file a court action. They may also go through the Child Maintenance Service. The agency can seize the non-paying parent’s wages, bank account balances and benefits to apply towards the back amount owed. The service can also help to locate non-paying parents when the recipient parent does not know where they are. It can also determine the amount of child maintenance that should be paid, receive the payments and send them on to the recipient. It will review child maintenance payments annually and can take action if the paying parent fails to pay.
Child support is ordered because both parents should contribute to the cost of raising their child. If paying parents have trouble making their payments because their financial circumstances have changed, they need to continue paying the ordered amount. They can seek help from a solicitor to try to get an order modification of the amount. Changes in ordered amounts are not retroactive, however. Any overdue amounts will continue to accrue and must be paid.
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