Enforcement : Liability Orders
Child Support arrears can accrue through no fault of the non resident parent, but through delays in the administration process of CMS. Those arrears remain payable irrespective of how they accrued.
CMS will initially consider enforcement of arrears through Deduction from Earnings Orders, or Deduction Orders (against a bank/building society account). If those measures are not succesful, or not sufficient to recover the arrears in a reasonable amount of time, further court based action can be used.
For any court based enforcement, a Liability Order must first be granted by the courts. An application will be made to the court and notification of the court hearing must be issued to the Paying Parent.
If you have received notification of a Liability Order hearing, it is important that you attend, but do note that the court is not empowered to question the decisions made which consequently created the arrears. If the court is satisfied a debt is due, it is quite likely they will grant the Liability Order.
A Liability Order legalises the debt and allows for enforcement action to be taken. If you later prove the debt is not correct, the amount collected by enforcement will be limited to the revised arrears balance. A change to the debt value does not affect the validity of the Liability Order.
A Liability Order cannot be granted for any debt that was notified before 12th July 2000. Debt that was notified after that date can be included within a Liability Order application.
If CMS apply for a Liability Order, there will be a charge to the Paying Parent, currently £300.
If you have received notification of a Liability Order, or you dispute the arrears alleged as outstanding, please contact us for further help and support.