(2) what discussions he has had with the (a) Department for Constitutional Affairs, (b) Home Office and (c) Treasury on additional costs arising from the increased use of court settlements to resolve child support claims proposed in Sir David Henshaw’s report Recovering Child Support: Routes to Responsibility.
Officials have been involved in extensive discussions with the Department for Constitutional Affairs, the Scottish Executive and the Treasury in assessing the impact on the Court Service of all aspects of Sir David Henshaw’s recommendations and wider child support reform.
Having considered Sir David Henshaw’s recommendation that the 12-month rule be removed to prevent parents from being able to approach the new organisation to overturn consent orders, we have decided that the 12-month rule should remain. This rule has a positive impact on the level of child maintenance in consent orders as it ensures maintenance is generally set at a substantial level that broadly reflects the child maintenance formula. It also ensures that parents will avoid being locked into the Court system indefinitely however their circumstances change. However the removal of the requirement for parents with care to be treated as applying to the Child Support Agency if they make a claim for benefit will ensure that fewer maintenance agreements are unnecessarily overturned against the wishes of both parents.