Parents that no longer live together who do not pay child
maintenance risk the threat of being turned down for credit cards and mortgages.
From March next year
(if the new measure is approved by parliament), both the new Child Maintenance
Service and the old Child Support Agency will be able to share details about the
payment records of their clients with credit reference agencies. The data can then be used by financial firms
to help them decide whether or not to offer someone credit.
Arrears built up in
the child maintenance payments will potentially have the same impact on an
individual’s credit rating as other debts. A poor credit rating can prevent someone
from taking out a loan or mortgage. It can also cause people to be refused
credit cards, mobile phone contracts and other forms of financial credit.
information will only be shared about an individual if a liability order has
been made against them. It is therefore intended as a measure of last resort,
as liability orders only take place in a minority of cases. Such orders
occur where an application is made to court to recover the arrears of child maintenance.
It is hoped that the
introduction of the new measure will have a deterrent effect on those who may
otherwise choose to evade payments in order to get money flowing to the
families that need it.
The new powers will
also mean that parents who have a good record for payment of child maintenance
will be able to ask to have that information shared to boost their credit rating.
Our expert family solicitors based in Tunbridge
Wells, Kings Hill and London are experienced in advising clients in relation to
child maintenance issues. Rebecca Hawley can be contacted on +44 1892
506037 or on email@example.com.