Later today I intend to lay the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2018 detailed in “The Child Maintenance Compliance and Arrears Strategy” consultation response, which will be published on gov.uk later today and the primary effect of which will be the introduction of new powers to:
Vary a child maintenance liability by calculating an assumed income from certain high-value assets.
Extend our existing ability to deduct maintenance and arrears directly from bank accounts, to include joint and business accounts.
Prevent a paying parent from holding or obtaining a passport where all other enforcement action has proved ineffective.
Provide clarity for families about the treatment of the historic arrears that built up on child support (CSA) cases, by:
Seeking representations from clients in cases with non-paying CSA debt about whether we should make a last attempt to collect the debt, where it is cost-effective to do so. Where no representations are received, or collection of the debt is not possible, the debt may be written off.
Writing off non-paying debt where a collection attempt is not cost-effective, and informing clients of this.
Writing off non-paying debt under £65 without notifying clients.
Enable debt subject to sequestration (Scottish insolvency) to be written off when the sequestration expires. This technical amendment will apply to both CSA and CMS cases, as sequestration causes this debt to become legally uncollectable.
These draft regulations are subject to the affirmative procedure and I look forward to discussing them with colleagues in due course.