Skip to main content

Children: Maintenance

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what procedures will be put in place to monitor the private child maintenance arrangements included in the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill. (172722)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission's Information and Support Service will help parents to put in place effective private arrangements by providing information on how to review, renegotiate or re-establish arrangements if they break down. We expect the Commission will provide parents with a template enabling them to calculate, record and agree the terms of their arrangement between themselves. We recognise that maintenance arrangements can last for many years and therefore expect the Commission will also encourage parents to re-contact the Information and Support Service at any point if their arrangement breaks down. Help at this point may include supporting parents across to the statutory maintenance service for a more formal and enforceable arrangement.

We are also committed to evaluating how the objectives of the redesigned system are being met including looking at the numbers of effective voluntary arrangements. This will be through both qualitative and quantitative research as well as the use of surveys such as the Family Resources Survey.