Separated parents will be penalised if they cannot reach an amicable agreement over child support under a new system that comes into force today.
Mothers and fathers who turn to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) to collect and pay settlements face losing significant sums of cash. Non-resident parents will be forced to hand over 20 per cent on top of the payments and the other parent will lose 4 per cent of the money received.
Applications to use the new system will cost £20 and those who have to be pursued will also be hit by extra charges of up to £300. Ministers insist the reforms are being introduced to encourage parents to work together, freeing up the service so it can focus on the most challenging cases.
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