About Time: We Talked About Child MaintenanceBy Angelica Malin
Child maintenance. If you have separated from a partner whom you had a child with, are the main carer for that child and that child is under 16, then you’re entitled to it. However, a new study by financial advisors PayPlan has found that almost a quarter (21.4%) of single parents in the UK are not receiving child maintenance payments despite qualifying for them.
Based on the basic weekly rate of £41 a week which can be claimed for Child Maintenance, this means single parents could be missing out on £2132 a year. A substantial sum, especially amidst the financial climate the UK currently finds itself caught up in.
So why are so many single parents not claiming what is rightfully there’s?
The survey revealed that the system itself was far too complicated for many to bother dealing with. Only 23.8% of single parents surveyed found the current system both simple and easy to understand. Respondents disclosed that the process was “not worth the hassle” with some going far as to say “the process doesn’t work”.
The survey also found…
– 31.8% admitted the reason for not receiving statutory based support was because the process was too complicated
– 71% of single parents surveyed admitted they were struggling financially
– 73.8% of single parents had little to no knowledge of help available to them if they were struggling to make child maintenance payments
– 46.4% of men find the process too complicated in comparison to 26.6% of women
– 49.1% of 25 – 34s have a family based arrangement compared to just 26.4% of 45 – 55s, suggesting things get less amicable the later a split happens
To help simplify the Child Maintenance process, PayPlan have created a resource hub full of useful resources to help single parents navigate the arrangements.
PayPlan Money Advice Consultant, Jane Clack explained more about the survey findings and the actions taken in response by the financial advisor.
“The feedback from our survey clearly shows people are confused about the process of claiming child maintenance. With the public really feeling the pinch in their finances currently, not receiving a benefit you are clearly entitled to is unacceptable, especially for single parents.
“We created out child maintenance hub for this very reason, we want to make the process as simple as possible and ensure the single parents are receiving everything they’re entitled to.”
The resource hub contains four key tools which are designed to educate parents on the different payments available and help navigate them through the process. It includes…
– The Child Maintenance Process – This is a straight forward downloadable guide about how the process works, explaining the details of both family and statutory arrangements.
– Child Maintenance Calculator – A tool to help you decide which arrangement is best suited for your circumstances.
– The Cost of Raising a Child – A fun piece to help understand the costs associated with raising a child.
–Child Maintenance Research Report – This is a document filled with further research findings from the survey on Child Maintenance
You can take a look at the resource hub here