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Failure to Pay Child Maintenance Set to Affect the Credit Rating of Non-payers

June Reid

From March 2015 (subject to Parliamentary approval), the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) and Child Support Agency (CSA) will begin sharing certain information about the payment records of their clients with credit reference agencies.

Arrears of maintenance payments could affect credit ratings in the same way that other debts do. A poor credit rating can minimise a person’s ability to obtain a mortgage, loan or credit card, as well as their ability to enter in to rental agreements, mobile phone contracts and other forms of financial credit.

It is expected that these new powers will affect a minority of cases where “liability orders” have been made. Such orders are made by the court once either the CSA or the CMS has exhausted all other channels for collecting arrears. Government figures show that, 12,410 liability orders were made between April 2013 and March 2014.

Why are these measures being put in?

The Government is hoping that the new measures will act as a deterrent to non-payers, because of the negative impact not paying could have on their credit rating. The majority of parents do pay what is due. This new measure is aimed at targeting the minority who fail to do so.

Please Note: W. Davies Solicitors have now closed their Family Department.

No new appointments are being made.

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