The Department for Work and Pensions has published the results of a survey conducted among separated parents who had made contact with its Child Maintenance Options Service. 

Child Maintenance Options provides impartial information and support to help separated parents make decisions about their child maintenance arrangements. It very much promotes the use of family-based child maintenance arrangements, where separated parents reach agreement about maintenance themselves. Parents who are not able to do so after speaking to the Options Service can be referred to the Child Maintenance Service, which is replacing the Child Support Agency.

The survey found that:

  • Out of the 55,900 parents that had contact with Child Maintenance Options between May and July 2017, 75%, or 41,800, had a child maintenance arrangement at the time of surveying.
  • 17% of parents who contacted Child Maintenance Options setup a family-based arrangement. 8% of parents already had a family-based arrangement before they contacted Options giving a total of 25% of parents that have family-based arrangements.
  • 50% of parents who contacted Child Maintenance Options now have an arrangement with the Child Maintenance Service. 43% of all parents set up their arrangement with the Child Maintenance Service after speaking to Options and 7% already had their arrangement in place before they called Options between May and July 2017.
  • 24% of parents had not agreed a child maintenance arrangement after contacting Options.

The survey also found that 85% of parents with a family-based arrangement said it worked well.

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.