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Child Maintenance

Volume 555: debated on Monday 10 December 2012

Today I can confirm the Government will introduce their new, “pathfinder” statutory child maintenance scheme, which will be available to a very limited number of new applicants at the outset. All other cases will remain on existing schemes for the time being.

This Government are determined to avoid the mistakes of the past, when the 2003 scheme was launched too quickly and for too many clients. Through the pathfinder approach we will ensure that the 2012 scheme is operating effectively, before it is opened to all clients.

Eligibility for the 2012 scheme is based on the number of children—qualifying for child maintenance—named in the application. For the purposes of the pathfinder, there must be at least four children with the same two parents named in the application, and the parents must have no existing child support case in respect of those children, for that application to be administered under the scheme, otherwise it will be handled according to the 2003 scheme rules.