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Child Maintenance: Public Consultation

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is seeking views on the Government’s strategy for reforming the child maintenance system based on the Coalition Government’s principle of enabling parents to take responsibility for their families. To achieve this for child maintenance the Government is proposing to: - encourage separating families to recognise their ongoing responsibility for their children after they separate; - enable parents to make their own, family-based arrangements; - deliver a more efficient statutory service for those who need it; - provide greater value for money for the tax payer, and - work closely with colleagues across government and with stakeholders in developing these proposals. There is in particular a proposal for parents to pay a £100 fee if they are unable to reach an independent agreement. The DWP wishes to hear from all who are interested in child maintenance issues, especially contributions from: - parents who live apart; - representative organisations for parents who live apart or their children; - representatives of the legal profession; - organisations that represent families and children; and - members of the general public with an interest in child maintenance issues. To respond to the consultation paper, visit http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2011/strengthening-families.shtml. The consultation closes on 7 April 2011. Elizabeth Walsh Solicitor and Mediator This article was published by Family Law (a publishing imprint of Jordan Publishing Ltd) in the February 2011 issue of the journal Family Law, at [2011] Fam Law 119. This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.