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  • Child Maintenance: The New Law
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Child Maintenance: The New Law

(New Law Series)


Provides advice on the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act

Paperback i

Book printed softcover

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act radically changed the existing child support system by replacing the Child Support Agency with a new body, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC).

Child Maintenance: The New Law is a detailed account of this legislation.
This invaluable and authoritative guide offers practitioners advice on the law, practice and procedure under the new regime which includes simplifying how child maintenance is calculated, encouraging parents to make their own child maintenance arrangements and introducing tougher enforcement powers to collect arrears of child maintenance from parents who fail to pay. There is also a section on applications under CA 1989, Sch 1 and a detailed chapter on appeals and judicial review. The book also contains the full text of the Act.
  • Background to and General Principles of the Child Maintenance and
  • Other Payments Act 2008
  • Procedure for Obtaining Maintenance Calculations
  • How Child Support is Calculated
  • Special Cases
  • Variations
  • Disputes as to Parentage
  • Revisions and Supersessions
  • Appeals Under the Act and Judicial Review
  • Collection and Enforcement
  • The Role of the Courts and Maintenance Agreements
  • Applications under Schedule 1tothe Children Act 1989
  • Transitional Provisions


  • Statutes
    • Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008
    • Child Support Act 1991
    • Child Support Act 1995
    • Children Act 1989, Schedule 1
  • Statutory Instruments
    • Child Support (Maintenance Arrangements and Jurisdiction) Regulations 1992
    • Child Support (Maintenance Calculation Procedure) Regulations 2000
    • Child Support (Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases) Regulations 2000
    • Child Support (Variations) Regulations 2000
    • Social Security and Child Support (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 1999
"a useful addition to any family law library shelf"
Law Society Gazette

“adapts a practical approach … clear narrative guide … comprehensive and clear chapters”
Solicitors Journal

This year we are celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the coming into force of a compulsory system of child support. This system, in effect, nationalised the assessment of and procedure for recovering child maintenance for most families and removed it from the body of law relating to other aspects of family law. We are also having to assimilate the fourth statute governing these
matters to have been introduced in that period, which comes partially into force today. Hence, the need for this book, following in the footsteps of five previous editions of Child Support – The New Law.

A familiar pattern has been established. First, the proponents of the new legislation assert with confidence that the changes effected by it will improve the lot of children and bring about a better and more fair system for the assessment and collection of child maintenance. Then, after an interval of about 3 to 4 years, the failings in the system are acknowledged and a fresh attempt is made to remedy these failings, again with every confidence being expressed that this time the Act has got it right. This has now happened four times, yet it seems that the one solution which has not been contemplated so far is to question the wisdom of the original idea.

One must hope that the Government is right, and that the reformed system of child support which is now being introduced will achieve its purpose (though the statements of the new chair of the Commission reported in The Times today do not suggest that parents suffering under the present system should hold their breath for change). Nevertheless, one wonders when the penny will drop and someone with a memory which goes back more than 15 years will come to the conclusion that a Child Support Agency, or successor body, is not an inevitable part of a family law structure.

As this book was going to press the procedural structure of the appeals system for child support was replaced by a new scheme which came into effect on 3 November 2008. This appeals scheme has been incorporated into the text. In the preparation of this edition I have been joined by David Burrows who has contributed the chapters on revision and supersessions, enforcement and
appeals. David has extensive experience of practice in these areas and the publishers and I are delighted to welcome him as a co-author. The law is as at the date given below.

Roger Bird
1 November 2008

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