The UK Government has published new figures that it says show thousands of children are benefiting from their separated parents working together on child maintenance arrangements.

According to the figures, the parents of more than 15,900 children have set up ‘family-based arrangements’ for paying child maintenance after receiving information and support from Child Maintenance Options. This is a service set up by the Government in 2008 to help separated parents work together in the best interests of their children.

Child Maintenance Options provides free, impartial support to help parents come to their own arrangements. If this does not prove to be possible, parents can turn to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), which is replacing the Child Support Agency. The CMS supports parents to manage payments between themselves where they can, and helps those in difficult or vulnerable situations.

Of the family based arrangements made by parents, 87% apparently said that payments were regularly being made and that it was working well.

“We know children grow up to have better health, emotional well-being and educational attainment if their parents – whether together or separated – have a positive relationship,” commented Minister for Welfare Delivery Caroline Nokes. “All children deserve the best start in life and that’s why, through Child Maintenance Options, we encourage separated couples to work together in the best interests of their children.”

“But we also understand a minority of separated parents, especially those in difficult or vulnerable circumstances, won’t be able to come to their own arrangements and our staff can give them that extra help,” she added.

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