CSA reform - too many opportunities missed say Resolution

13 Dec 2006

Kim Fellowes who heads the CSA task force for campaigning family law group, Resolution, says:
“There are several things to welcome in the white paper, but too many opportunities missed.

“We are pleased that the government plans to let more couples reach their own agreements on maintenance levels in future. We welcome the plan to let couples caught up in the current system resolve arrears via negotiated settlements.

“The plan to make greater use of deduction of earnings orders is great in principle but it puts added pressure on the new commission to get the payment levels right in the first place.

“The move to assessment based on gross income will make delivering fair assessments more difficult and the government is wrong to tinker with a formula which most people agree already works well.

“The biggest failing is the refusal to give the courts more power to set child support payment levels where they are already dealing with couples’ finances on divorce. We will continue to lobby the government hard for this vital change to the system.

“Whilst we still have to study the detail, it looks as if, by maintaining the link between overnight stay and payment levels, the government is leaving children at the centre of the battleground between warring parents.”