Make child maintenance a FAIR system for both parents.

Make child maintenance a FAIR system for both parents.

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I know people will read this title and think ‘there is nothing anyone can do as they’re run by the government. But if we don’t try, then nothing will ever be done. This is not a rant about paying CMS. This is a petition to make it a fair system for BOTH parents. 

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) needs a complete overhaul. It is outdated, and open to exploitation from both parents, both non-residential and residential. 

The CMS do not have to answer to anyone, this is why the service they provide is so poor. They do not return phone calls, and they do not provide any answers when asked questions by people who use their service. 

1. Why do the CMS use gross income (before tax and national insurance). Included in your gross income will sometimes be payments that cannot be relied upon as regular income. Example. If you’re serving military and go on operations for 6 months, you’ll be paid ‘bonuses’. The CMS will then increase your payments by a substantial amount for the following 12 months. Fair? I don’t think so. Example. A man is a paying parent and his ex partner goes through the CMS. He wants to treat his new family to a holiday so he decides to work a lot of overtime to pay for it. This could then put him in an impossible financial situation the following 12 months as his payments would increase whereas he is earning less money. How is this fair? Example. A receiving parents ex partner is self employed. He doesn’t declare his full income, therefore the receiving parent does not receive the full amount of CMS. Fair? Some receiving parents are receiving as little as £7 a week, and some more than £1000+!!

2. Why is it worked out as a percentage of the paying parents wage. Surely this should be a capped fair amount. Are you telling me that the more a paying parent earns, the more a child needs? Some paying parents are paying upwards of £1000 a month. Are you telling me that a child (bearing in mind CMS was designed so each parent contributes), costs £2000 a month to raise? I do not think so. I much fairer system would be to cap the maintenance at a fair figure of £50 a week. There is no way a child costs more than £100 a week to raise. This would also alleviate the risk of paying parent, if given the chance, to fiddle their income if self employed, and chance for the paying parent to work overtime if he/she wishes and not impact them for a future 12 months. 

3. If CMS was designed to save the government money on the welfare state, then why don’t they take benefit payments into account? Example. A woman could have 5 children, with 5 different men, all on an average of £30k salary, all paying the full CMS, and she would also be receiving full benefits! Is this fair?

This list is not exhaustive, these are just a few examples of how badly run the CMS is. I’m not saying I have all the answers. What I am saying is that the whole company needs an overhaul. Paying and receiving parents need a voice. At this moment in time the CMS are causing parents to ‘job hop’, not declare all their income, not work overtime in fear of the following heats payments etc etc etc. It needs to be fair, which is what it clearly isn’t right now. Individual cases need to be heard, instead of blanket rules which don’t apply to all.

 

 

 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
At 200 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!