The Child Support Agency (CSA) is a UK Government Executive Agency, part of the Department for Work Pensions, launched on April 15, 1993. The CSA is responsible for implementing the 1991 Child Support Act and subsequent legislation”.1
Child Support, or Child Maintenance, is the contribution from a non- resident parent towards the financial cost of raising their child, paid to the person with whom the child lives, (usually the other parent). The level and conditions of payment can either be mutually agreed between the two parties, or, in case of disagreement, decided by legal means.
“Prior to the launch of the CSA, child support disputes were handled by a court
based system. This system did not have the power to trace absent parents, and was
criticized as “arbitrary and unfair”.2
The CSA was given the task of assessing payments to ensure consistency, with the powers to collect and distribute the maintenance payments itself. The CSA’s function is two fold, encompassing calculation of how much child maintenance is due (based on current legislation and rules) and collection and transferal of the payment from the non-resident parent to the person with care. The CSA may only become involved in the collection and distribution of maintenance payments when so requested by either parent, or when the person is with care receives government benefits. Then the CSA automatically becomes involved.
“A new method of child maintenance calculation came into effect on March 3, 2003." The
previous method used a complex formula of up to 108 pieces information".3.
By first calculating the total child maintenance required based on the children's ages,
then calculating the non-resident parents income after various allowances were