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Separation: MP backs child support reform

Families minister, Maria Miller has pledged her support for rapid changes to be made to the UK child support system.

The new proposals urge separating parents to find a financial solution without state intervention. Any parents who cannot, will face having to be a fee.

Miller showed her support for change by stating: "[T]he most effective and enduring arrangements are ones which parents come to themselves."

The UK child support system costs £460 million a year.

Recent research highlighted the following facts:

  • One in five children from separated families loses contact with a parent within three years and never sees them again;
  • Children not raised in a two-parent family are 75% more likely to do badly academically at school;
  • Children from non two-parent families are 70% more likely to became involved in drug taking, 40% more likely to have major debt problems and 35% more likely to be unemployed or reliant on the welfare system.

It is startling facts for parents and those employed to deal with the estimated 3.5 million children who are from separated families.

Miller believes the present child support system hinders and does not help families.

"We know that if effective financial arrangements are in place, those parents are much more likely to stay in contact and much more likely to have a strong relationship with their children. Staying in contact with both parents is absolutely critical to give a child the best start in life," she said.

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission are responsible for managing any new system, after they took over from the Child Support Agency

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