England’s £3 Billion Child Support Problem

The Guardian recently reported that according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report, “three-quarters of the £4 billion in payments owed by absent parents – some dating back more than 20 years – are considered ‘uncollectable'”. Essentially, this means that approximately £3 billion in child maintenance payments may never be paid. The report further revealed that an additional £527 million in back child maintenance payments were “potentially collectable” whereas only £366 million were considered “likely to be collected”.

This report comes on the heels of reports that the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has only closed 33% of “active” child maintenance arrears cases – well below its goal of 50%. The CMS replaced the Child Support Agency (CSA) which was dogged by an array of problems. While the case closures are behind schedule, the CMS remains hopeful of closing all remaining active cases  by the end of 2017.

I previously wrote about South Korea’s and the United State’s child support problems. Child support is essential for children to receive necessary care. It is difficult to understand why some parents refuse to pay any child support; literally anything is better than nothing. Also, if the payor of child support is having issues paying the full amount of support, most jurisdictions have a modification process to reduce child support to a more reasonable amount.

If you or someone you know has an Arizona child support issue – either collection or payment – call my office today at 602.396.7608 to set up a free consultation to see what your options are.


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