In 2012 the Child Support Agency’s ‘new gross income scheme’ was introduced for a pilot group of cases. This currently only applies to new applicants with four or more children however is set to be rolled out to families with two or more children after a period.
The scheme is slightly more complicated than the present income scheme that the Child Support Agency adopts.
The new gross scheme has a basic formula that a non-resident parent will pay depending on whether he or she has one, two or three or more children living with the parent with care. The amount paid, based on up to the first £800 of income per week, is as follows:
- 1 child – 12% of gross income
- 2 children – 16% of gross income
- 3 or more children – 19% of gross income
Then from £800 income per week up to the new maximum of £3000 gross per week it is as follows:
- 1 child – 9% of gross income
- 2 children – 12% of gross income
- 3 or more children – 15% of gross income
Those with an income of less than £100 per week will pay £7 per week.
It will still be possible, where there is a maximum calculation for the parent with care, to apply to the court for a ‘top up’ maintenance under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.
Shared Care System
For the non-resident parents who have their children to stay with them 52 nights or more a year, a percentage discount will still be applied, for example this is 15% for one child.
The CSA, under the new gross system, will be able to contact HMRC directly and obtain details of the absent parent’s income to calculate the maintenance liability.
In addition, the maximum age for a child to be eligible for child support was previously 19 years of age, however the age has been extended to 20 years under the CSA regulations to align with child benefit rules. The court can still make orders for children whilst they are in tertiary education.
At the moment there is no date for the gross income scheme to be rolled out to other applicants. The assumptions are that if the pilot scheme goes well then it will be rolled out to others.