Mother fears ruling will end her right to benefit: The divorcee

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The Independent Online
ANNE accepts that she is unlikely to be any better off as a result of the Child Support Agency. Indeed, her already precarious finances may suffer further if she becomes dependent on maintenance from her ex-husband.

Nevertheless, she welcomes the new organisation wholeheartedly.

For the past four years, since her divorce, she says that she has been supported by state benefit, the savings she managed to make while working and the generosity of friends. 'But I was a taxpayer once, and I wouldn't have wanted to pay for someone in my situation.'

Instead, she hopes that the agency will chase up the maintenance due from her ex-husband - set at pounds 50 a week by a court - and ensure that she receives the money.

Anne, who lives near Orpington, Kent, said: 'The father should pay something at least towards the cost of the children.'

Yet she harbours a fear that if the agency sets the maintenance at above pounds 75, she will lose the right to state benefit. 'At least with income support you know you will get the money,' she said.

If she has to rely upon her ex-husband, she fears that the money will never materialise, leaving her unable to support her two children.