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Study into child maintenance arrangements and benefits

The Nuffield Foundation has recently published the results of a study that looked at the child maintenance arrangements of single parents who are also in receipt of benefits.

The study is the first to look in depth at this matter since the removal of the requirement to use the CSA to determine child maintenance, and the abolition of the policy to reduce benefits to account for the amount of maintenance received.

The findings of the study include:

  • 37% of single parents had their child maintenance determined by a CSA arrangement compared to only 20% that had a private arrangement, even though the requirement to use the CSA hasn’t been in place since 2008.
  • Parents seem to find it difficult to make a private child maintenance arrangement sustainable. The study found that as many as 40% had tried to use a private arrangement, but around half of these subsequently ended up with a CSA arrangement or had no arrangement in place at all.
  • Receiving child maintenance was important for single parents, and 19% said the money received lifted them out of living in poverty.

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