Should single mums have to pay to track down absent dads?


The government run Child Maintenance Service charges £20 and a 4% collection fee to single mums to track down absent dads - is this fair?

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5th February 2016 by TFN Staff 4 Comments

Should single mums have to pay to track down absent dads?

Poll results (total votes: 99)

Should single mums have to pay to track down absent dads?

Charities Fife Gingerbread Poverty Alliance, Citizens Advice and Rights Fife and One Parent Families Scotland says single mums are being put off from using the Child Maintenance Service because of fees, meaning two-thirds of single parent families get no money from the absent parent. Is this right? What do you think? 


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5th February 2016 by Ian Maxwell

Yes I agree that the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) fees are wrong, but there is a bigger picture which this poll fails to recognise. Firstly, fees are not payable when parents agree between themselves how much maintenance is paid, and therefore don't use the CMS. Secondly, there are other unfairnesses which can be equally damaging to the children. Many fathers who come to Families Need Fathers Scotland pay maintenance willingly but still do not see their children. Others have shared care arrangements vetoed because if both parents have equal care then no maintenance goes either way. Thirdly, although I am well aware that there are plenty of men out there who pay no money, not all main carers are mothers, and the women who are classed as non-resident (don't just label all of them as "absent") have a poorer record of paying up.

5th February 2016 by Kathleen Stewart

Single parents should not pay fees to track down a missing/non paying parent. Many single parents are on very low incomes and they and their children would suffer.

16th April 2016 by Iain Macphail

Whichever parent is responsible for the need to track down a parent who is no longer in contact with the child, or the parent caring for the child, should meet the cost in full. This may be the parent caring for the child. This may be the parent not in contact. Either may be the mother or father. Fathers unaware of their paternity should not be required to do so. Costs related to identifying who is the father should be met by the mother if she does not know who, and by the father if he has denied, or doubted, being the father and then proved to be the father.

3rd May 2016 by Stephen Leslie

No contest I love Democracy so I welcome Opposition we have none of a reasonable level SNP are our only hooe