A MUM said she resorted to relying on food banks after her child maintenance payments were delayed.

Fiona Reed, currently working two jobs to support three children, has battled for seven months to get payments through the Child Maintenance System.

At times she waited up to four weeks for the £460 monthly instalment to be forwarded on by Honda, where her ex-husband works, forcing her to go to a foodbank to feed her children, aged five, six and 11.

 “I’ve got mixed up with what payments I’m chasing,” she told the Adver.

“It’s a constant failing, I’m having to hound them, to chase both of them for what I’m entitled to.

“If I haven’t got that money I can’t cover my mortgage.
“I’m busting a gut to try and keep things a float.”

The CMS arranges with employers a Deduction from Earnings Order, which takes an agreed sum of money directly from a person’s salary.

Even though non-payment can result in fines the sum has been delayed consistently almost every month, said Fiona, fearing the problem could be affecting many more single mums.

“They are not adhering to the legislation because they are not meeting these timescales and leaving all these people vulnerable without their money,” added Fiona.

“The CSA knows this company is failing but they’re not taking any steps to rectify this.
“I did not expect in this day and age for this kind of business to be

going on,

“The legal system is allowing me to be abused, because all of the control is out of my hands,” she added.

In July the Department for Work and Pensions announced a new strategy to limit child maintenance avoidance and late payment.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Work & Pensions said: “We are committed to ensuring children get the right level of support, so we actively pursue parents who aren’t meeting their financial responsibilities.

“Ms Reed is currently paid child maintenance through deductions from her former partner’s earnings. These payments are up-to-date.” 

A spokesman for Honda said it would not comment on individuals personal circumstances.