A public consultation started last month on new plans for child maintenance:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/2011/strengthening-families.shtml

Basically, if your ex wants to take responsibility and contribute towards the upbringing of his (her) children, then you are fine. If not, you're stuffed. The new system proposes that, if you cant come to your own 'family arrangement', then they will charge the parent (the one with care) £100 to apply for CSA (or £50 if on benefits), £25 for a 'calculation' (?), and then they will make deductions on all payments as a 'contribution to the state' (around 30%).  They also plan to CLOSE all exiting cases so that you are forced to reapply!  I will add more info later but I am hoping to put a response together by April which will include everything that is totally WRONG and unfair about this proposal!  If you have an opinion or are happy to share your own experiences please either email me (at prymface@yahoo.co.uk), or add your views/stories below to share.

They say they want to know what we think so we may as well bloody tell them!