The Government has recently established the Child Maintenance Review Group to examine a number of issues regarding payment of child maintenance.
The Review Group is to consider the interaction between maintenance payments and the Department of Social Protection. The Social Welfare legislation provides that when certain welfare payments are in place, specifically the One-Parent Family Payment, a liable relative may be required to make contribution in respect of the cost of that. Effectively, this means that if, for example, a mother is in receipt of One Parent Family Payment, the father of such child/children can be asked by the Department to make a contribution to that payment.
The purpose of the Child Maintenance Review Group is to consider and make recommendations on (a) the current treatment within the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of Child Maintenance payments (b) the current provisions relating to the liable relative regarding child maintenance and (c) the establishment of a State Child Maintenance Agency.
We understand that the Review Group will also undertake a public consultation exercise as part of its work. The outcome of this review will clearly be important to persons both in receipt of Social Welfare payment and maintenance.