There is no definitive time-scale as yet, mainly as the changes haven't yet been approved by Parliament. There is currently a pilot scheme running, whereby any new cases where there are four or more children living with the PWC will be subject to the new changes. All other new cases will be dealt with under the existing 2003 rules.
The changes are: The CSA will be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) which will be responsible for assessing and enforcing child maintenance payments. Some of the other proposed changes, including ones set out in 2008, are: Maintenance calculations will be based on the parent’s gross income, not net income, with a corresponding shift in the applicable percentages to 12%, 16% and 19% for monthly incomes over £800 and to 9%, 12% or 15% for those under £800.
The CMS will have greater powers to enforce payment of child maintenance, including the ability to impose a 20% fee on top of each assessed payment if payment is not received and charging the non-resident parent an additional fee of between £50 and £300 if enforcement action is necessary; There will be a one-off, upfront fee of £20 to make an application to the new Child Maintenance Service (CMS), not applicable if the applicant has declared they are a victim of domestic violence or is under 18.
The flat-rate scheme for low income parents paying child maintenance will increase from £5 to £10 a week; Before making an application to CMS parents will have to take part in a ‘Gateway conversation’ so they are aware of the full range of maintenance options available; For using the collection service a 20% fee will be levied on the parent paying maintenance; A 7% fee will be deducted from the parent receiving maintenance for using the collection service; Parents will be able to choose the ‘Direct Pay’ method, for which there is no charge;
Fixed charges will be introduced for any enforcement actions taken; All Child Support Agency (CSA) cases will be closed and parents can then come to their own family-based arrangements or apply to the new Child Maintenance Service
The link below is the Child Support Fees Regulations 2013 Equality impact assessment - if anyone wants to read it.