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The Beneficiary of Child Support

This will be expanded later

The proposal

Child support should be formally awarded to the children.

Where the child is young, even where the child is awarded the maintenance, it will normally be handed over to the parent with care to handle.

Anne Corden says "There is no consideration in the Green Paper about any advantages there might be in making the child the legal beneficiary. There is scope for at least some further discussion around this issue". [1]

Europe

APPROACHES ACROSS EUROPE [1]

In the UK, the beneficiary of CS is the parent with care.

(In Scotland, a 12-19 child can claim in his/her own right if it hasn't already been claimed).

In France, the parent with care is normally the beneficiary.

In the Netherlands, the beneficiary is normally the parent with care for younger children, but older children may receive child maintenance in their own right.

In most European countries, the child maintenance is awarded to the child. This applies to at least: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.

Implications

DISCUSSION OF IMPLICATIONS

What would the implications of changing this be?

One implication is psychological. If the award is to the child, some of the feeling that it is for spousal maintenance is reduced.

More importantly, it becomes clearer that "the money should follow the child", which has implications for the shared care cases.

It also opens up the debate about whether all the payment should be handed to the parent with care, or some of it should be placed in a trust fund for the child to have later. And it offers a more sensible approach for when the child is older, and/or perhaps away from home at boarding school or college.

It may even provide the opportunity for either the child or the non-resident parent to take legal action against a parent with care who demonstrably doesn't spend the money on the child.

Think what difference this would make to what NRPs think about the scheme, & legally-justified analysis of the formula.

If the government is NOT prepared to say that the money is awarded to the child - why not? What is their motive?

References

[1] Making child maintenance regimes work
by Anne Corden
Published for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
by the Family Policy Studies Centre
ISBN 1 901455 35 1

Claimed reply to a CSA form:
"I do not know who the father of my child was as all squadies look the same to me. I can confirm that he was a Royal Green Jacket."

Page last updated: 17 December, 2003 © Copyright Barry Pearson 2003