Research and analysis

Child maintenance arrears: proactive use of part payment

This research analyses the outcome of calling Child Support Agency (CSA) clients to discuss part payment of child maintenance arrears.

Documents

Proactive use of part payment for child maintenance arrears

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Details

We conducted this research to determine if contacting clients to discuss part payment is an efficient and cost effective method to recover outstanding debt accrued under the CSA.

The Child Support Management of Payments and Arrears (Amendment) Regulations were introduced in December 2012 to enable part payment in full and final satisfaction of debt owed to parents with care. If both parties agree, a non-resident parent can pay a proportion of their debt as a lump sum, and the remainder is then written-off.

We have never made proactive use of this power, and have only used it when a client has instigated the process. However, external stakeholders stated that their clients would benefit if we used this power more widely to collect money and conclude cases.

We analysed CSA cases with arrears owed to parents with care.

Based on these research findings, the Department will not proactively contact clients to discuss part payment in full and final satisfaction of debt owed to parents with care.

Published 14 December 2017