Estimated reading time: 3 min
The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is administered by a department within the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) called the “Child Maintenance Group” (CMG).
We have been sent copies of a set of documents called “Policy, Law and Decision Making Guidance” (PLDMG). If you saw our recent post on Child Maintenance Policies then you will have started to understand the processes that caseworkers go through (or should go through) when dealing with CMS cases.
The PLDMG contains the detail around those processes, what the CMS is and is not allowed to do as well as the legal guidance available to caseworkers that they “should” be following. Voice of the Child has heard of many instances where the correct process has not been followed leading to hardship and issues with the children involved.
If a similar mistake or omission has been made in your case you may have legal redress to the CMS. In any event, we hope that by giving our readers the access to these files you will be able to ensure that your case is administered in the proper way, and, if not, that you will be able to complain citing the correct policies.
Here is the full list of documents in the PLDMG:
13 Week Linking Rule
42 day appeal timescales
Abbreviations and Glossary
Action of Furthcoming
Arrears Methods of Collection Overview
Arrestment on the Dependence
Boarding school fees (Variation)
Can the child be a Relevant Other Child – this was in the index but not provided
Certain Payments (Varition)
Changes to a Special Expenses Variation
Charge for Payment
Child of the family or Child abrod
Child supported under a family based arrangement
Contact Costs (Variation)
Corrections of decisions
Court Proceedings and Presentation
Credit Reference Agency
Current Income (Employment)
Current Income Self Employed
Deduction from Earnings Orders and Requests
Default maintenance decisions
Determining child status flowchart
Direct (non scheme) payments
Direct Pay Choice
Diversion of Income (Variation)
DMG Debt Steer
Earned Income Variations
Effective Date Table 1 – Initial Effective Date
Effective Date Table 2 – Supersession – Income Related Changes
Effective Date Table 3 – Supersession – Add Child Role
Effective Date Table 4 – Supersession- Remove Child Role
Effective Date Table 5 – Supersession – Other
Effective Date Table 6 – Close Case
Effective Date Table 7 – Revisions
Estimating current income
Evidence and Decision Making
Initial Effective Date
Last Known or Last Notified Address
Legal Enforcement (England and Wales) Ovrview
Legal Enforcement (Scotand) Overview
Liability orders (Scotland)
Long Term or Illness Disability of a Relevant Other Child
Maintenance Calculation Overview
Managing Client Contact
Offsetting Third Party Payments
Order for interdicting and action for reduction (Scotland)
Other factors Overview Maintenance calculations
POST-Initial dispute ASSUMED at initial MC – flowchart
POST-Initial dispute NOT ASSUMED at initial – flowchart
PRE-Initial MC Parentage flowchart
Prior Debts Variation
Rates and Rules
Recovery from Deceased Estates
Relevant Other Child Decision Making Guidance
Revisiting decisions flowchart
Role Reversal and Split Care Offsetting
Service Types and Methods of Payment
Setting Aside Disposition Order
Third Party Debt Orders
Unearned Income Variation
Unlikely To Pay
Verification of Death
Write Off and Case Closure Write Off
As you can appreciate, there is a lot of information in the PLDMG and we will be going through it and highlighting various sections in individual posts in the future. In the meantime, we would like your help in identifying things that the CMS has not done (but should have done) with respect to your cases.
If you become aware of any new guidance then please let us know so that we can post it here for others to see.
Please highlight your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twittter for further updates from Voice of the Child. Please also cite Voice of the Child when making use of these documents.
In a Family Law system designed for combative parents there is no real allowance for the views of children and any understanding of how Family Law ultimately impacts on children most of all.
We speak for the children in Family Law so that, finally, the children have a voice.