Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK
- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -
Children First: a new approach to child support
- Green Paper published by UK government on 6 July 1998
The following documents are available on the CSA website http://www.dss.gov.uk/csa/
- Full text of the green paper (HTML and Adobe formats)
- Press release
- Statement by Rt Hon Harriet Harman, Secretary of State for Social Security
Change in terminology
There is a welcome change in terminology, with the term 'absent parent' being replaced by 'non-resident parent'.
However the paper misses the opportunity to promote responsible shared parenting and instead refers to concepts which are at variance with the Children Act 1989, so we have:
As a result, it will still not be possible for parents who are sharing the care of their children to share the state benefits as well.
- parents who are 'looking after the children' (parents with care), and
- parents who 'pay maintenance' (non-resident parents)
Summary of proposals
- Non resident parents will pay 15% of their net income for one child, 20% for two, and 25% for three or more children. There would be reductions for those on low earnings or who have a 2nd family.
- There will be a maintenance disregard for resident parents on income support - they will keep up to £10 of maintenance paid.
- Payments by non resident parents whose children spend 52 nights a year or more with them will be reduced pro rata.
- The minimum payment of £5 (five pounds sterling) would be extended to up to 60,000 non-resident parents who are currently exempt.
- Tribunals will deal with special cases or where a parent thinks the formula has been incorrectly applied.
See also: National Association for Child Support Action (NACSA) - http://www.nacsa.org
Last updated - 26 February 2000
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