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The government, in the name of the Department for Works and Pensions, has announced that from early 2018 it wants to take powers to enforce child maintenance arrears against joint accounts where the payer either does not have their own account or their own bank account doesn’t have enough money in it to pay the arrears. The powers will include both lump sum and regular payment orders.

These deduction order powers are to be subject to safeguards to avoid the power being used to take money not belonging to the paying parent. For example, the Department will obtain details of past bank statements which will be examined to work out from the history of the account what money belongs to the paying parent.

Account holders will have rights to make representations, rights to review, variation of decisions and will have appeal rights.

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