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Posted 2 August 2017
by Aimee Aspinall

Child Maintenance Application Fees and Domestic Abuse

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has updated guidance on deciding if a victim of domestic violence or abuse is exempt from the Child Maintenance Service application fee. The guidance now includes witnessing child abuse within its definition of domestic violence.

Since 2014 there has been a £20 fee to apply to the Child Maintenance Service. Victims of domestic violence or abuse are exempt from paying the fee.

The DWP decides whether an individual is a victim of domestic violence or abuse.

The individual applying for maintenance must have reported the violence or abuse to an “appropriate person”, and this is defined as:

  •  a court;
  •  the police;
  •  a medical professional;
  •  social services;
  •  a multi-agency risk assessment conference;
  •  a specialist domestic violence organisation or service including a refuge;
  •  an employer;
  •  educational services;
  •  a local authority;
  •  a legal professional; or
  •  a specialist support organisation.

The definition of a victim of domestic violence or abuse also now includes the applicant who has witnessed the abuse of their child by a current or previous partner, or member of their own or partner’s family.

If you need any assitance regarding this matter, please speak with our team our speacialist family law solictors.

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About the author

Aimee Aspinall

Chartered Legal Executive

Chartered Legal Executive in the Exeter family team