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Newsletter 001 - The difference between the Child Support Agency and the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CMEC)

The Child Support Agency (CSA) has been described as being unfit for purpose and is being closed. However, this doesn't mean that your child support problems with them are over - far from it.

In April 2009, the work it does is being transferred to a new organisation called Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission (CMEC) and it has the word enforcement in its name for a very good reason. We have every reason to believe that whilst you still contact them to open a case or try to sort out a query, the focus of CMEC is much less about the case itself and much more about enforcing the payment.

Unfortunately, this still doesn't mean that if you are currently being assessed under the old system that you will find yourself being assessed under the new. For many people, the transfer to CMEC will be little more than a change of letterhead or contact number. However, if you have arrears outstanding, then the enforcement action will be very harsh and CMEC will exercise all the powers it has. You can read more about this in our Recovering child support arrears using Liability Orders page.

At the Child Maintenance Advice Centre, we actively encourage all our clients to pay their regular assessed child maintenance, even if the amount is in dispute. Any overpayments will be refunded and this helps to reduce the level of child support arrears whilst the assesment is being corrected. We understand that people find themselves liable to pay child support under all sorts of circumstances, some of which do feel unfair and cause resentment and anger between the parents and the Child Support Agency / CMEC. We are not here to judge anyone, simply to apply the legislation properly so that the children involved get the support they need but that at the same time payments have been calculated and implemented correctly.

It is our ongoing belief that if you possibly can, you should keep your case away from CMEC altogether. The legislation has changed which means that even if a benefits claim is involved, there is no compulsion to get involved with them. Let us help you work out a private agreement and calculate the liability right at the start so you can start paying, stop the arrears, support the children and keep control of your case.

We can help you either through our advice line appointments Legal Advice Vouchers or through a piece of unique and specialist software we have developed specifically for this purpose www.evidence-tracker.com.

Contact the Child Maintenance Advice Centre today for help with all your child support and maintenance problems.

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CSA Testimonials

I write this testimonial as the mother of a son who took his own life because of life’s pressures, including those placed upon him from the Child Support Agency.  I was not asked to write it but we feel we need to tell our story in order to help others.

Mr & Mrs S Moody, London

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We are confident not only about the advice we offer but the standard of that advice. Durham Legal Services has represented people with child support problems for the last twenty years. We know we can help you if you have a real CSA problem.


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