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On 30 June 2014, a new system aimed at ending the Child Support Agency over the next 3 years, comes into force.

Applicants for child maintenance will have to pay a £20 fee to the Child Maintenance Service and there will be financial penalties of up to £300 for payers who try to avoid payments.

The government’s intention is to encourage couples to make their own arrangements and to make for financial costs if the state system has to be used.

There will be a Direct Pay system under which the state will calculate how much should be paid and the payments will then be made direct but the state will help if payment is not made.

Otherwise there will be Collect and Pay system under which the state will also organise payment. However, to discourage use of the latter there will be huge costs:

20 % of the sum assessed for the paying parent and 4% of receipts for the receiving parent.

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