Parents charged for using Gov't child maintenance service

Parents who collect child maintenance from their former partners using a new service will lose 4% of each payment from today.

The Government says this is to encourage separated couples to come to their own financial arrangements, rather than relying on them to chase up payments.

This is part of the phase out of the old Child Support Agency and the introduction of the new Child Maintenance Service.

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Charity: Government 'taking money from children'

The Government's new charge on parents using a state managed child maintenance payment system is "taking money away from children," Caroline Davey, Director of Policy at the single parent charity Gingerbread, told Good Morning Britain.

Ms Davey said: "The Government will generate millions from this. Some of that money, money for the Government, is being taken away from children."

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New fees for child maintenance service

The Government hopes the fee will encourage separated parents to work together. Credit: PA

Parents who use a Government service to chase their former partners for child maintenance are to lose a percentage of each payment.

From today, if the state manages their maintenance payments - through the Child Maintenance Service's 'Collect & Pay' facility - parents will see 4% deducted from their instalments.

The partner paying the maintenance will have to pay a 20% surcharge.

The introduction of the fee is designed to encourage separated couples to come to their own financial arrangements.

An alternative Child Maintenance Service system, "Direct Pay", can be used to do this for a £20 one-off payment.

The Department of Work and Pensions estimates that 39% of parents within the Child Maintenance System currently use the Direct Pay service.

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