A “public alimony service” comes into effect on October 1 to compensate for unpaid pensions

A “public alimony service” comes into effect on October 1 to compensate for unpaid pensions

This system is intended for parents whose ex-spouse has not paid the pension he owed them.

A single mother with her son in her kitchen, in Nantes, June 19, 2018 (VALERIE PINARD / HANS LUCAS)

From Thursday, October 1, the family allowance funds will offer a new service to single-parent families: they can serve as an intermediary between ex-spouses for the payment of alimony, in the event of unpaid bills, the government announced on Wednesday 30 September. This “service public”, whose entry into force was initially scheduled for June but was delayed due to an epidemic crisis, is aimed at parents whose ex-spouse has not paid the pension he owed them, an idea that had emerged during the “Great Debate”, in 2019.

The government expects around 100,000 beneficiaries of its new service and some 400 administrative agents have thus been recruited from the CAFs and MSAs to meet the demands.

Concretely, the families concerned will be able to seize the CAF or the Mutualité sociale agricole (MSA) which, not only, will take care as today of paying the injured parent an allowance of 116 euros per month, before turning to the bad payer, but will now also be able to take on, in a long-term manner, an intermediary role, so that alimony systematically passes through it. From January 2021, the system will be extended to all separated couples, including for a long time: even in the absence of any payment incident, everyone can entrust the CAF with this role of intermediary in the payment of alimony.

An average amount of 170 euros per month

According to the government, there were 2.4 million single-parent families in 2018, or one in five, a proportion that has more than doubled in 40 years. In 85% of cases, the mother is the head of the family. About a third of these families live below the poverty line and 20% of RSA beneficiaries are single mothers. Almost a million families are entitled to alimony, for an average amount of 170 euros per month.

With this new device, “Tomorrow there will be no unpaid alimony, [ni] of a single-parent family in distress ”, assured the Minister of Solidarity Olivier Véran, who came to present this reform in a family allowance fund (CAF) in Versailles.

For many single-parent families, mothers in the overwhelming majority of cases, the delay in the payment of child support “Is a source of conflict in the ex-couple and aggravation of precariousness and poverty for the mother with her children”, observed the minister, who was speaking alongside the Secretary of State for Children and Families, Adrien Taquet.