The submitter of this evidence has requested that the committee consider treating this evidence as anonymous
Whether the Department manages its resources effectively to deliver a high-quality service through the CMS.
- I have waited over 4 months for the CMS to review their initial calculation to consider my private pension payment.
- I have waited two months for the CMS to consider that my contact arrangements have changed with my children. I have submitted my travel costs but they will only be reviewed in May.
- I have heard the ruthlessness of the CMS and the suicide rates amongst non-resident parents which has caused significant anxiety. I am now receiving therapy for my own suicidal thoughts.
Whether the CMS is achieving its objectives
- The CMS should ensure assessments are formulated to promote involvement of both parents in both caring and financial responsibilities for their children.
- The CMS should take into account the resident parents income.
- The CMS should also factor the time separated. As the non-resident parent, I have been left with all of the marital debt which is making it very difficult to survive.
- The CMS, like the family courts, should promote contact between the children and both parents.
- Currently the unaffordable CMS makes it harder to pay for legal advice in the family court process.
- The calculation should also include the cost of contact including contact centres and independent social workers.
- There should be a check that the CMS is not being used for legal fees to prevent loving parents from seeing children.
A coherent policy that places as much store on supporting and enforcing shared parenting arrangements as on financial provision will pay dividends. Current policies fail to do this and fuel conflict.