HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 cc490-1W
Shona Mclsaac

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what powers the CSA possesses to follow up cases in respect of absent parents who have moved to a different country; and what plans he has to review them. [63395]

Angela Eagle

The Child Support Act only applies where both parents and the child are habitually resident in the UK. In some circumstances a person can be regarded as habitually resident in more than one country. In such cases, child support liability may still exist even though a non-resident parent is living abroad.

If there is no child support liability the parent with care has recourse to the courts to obtain maintenance. The Lord Chancellor's Department administers reciprocal enforcement arrangements with a number of other countries. Under these provisions many foreign courts can enforce a British order for maintenance.

The outcome of the consultation process on the Green Paper, "Children First: a new approach to child support", together with our detailed proposals for reforming the Child Support system, will be announced in due course.