- Against a backdrop of high rates of relationship breakdown among families with dependent children, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have been concerned to find ways to maintain the financial obligations of separated parents for their children. Both countries have been witness to a shift in focus from ex-spousal maitenance to child maintenance. Increasingly child maintenance is the only surviving financial obligation of parental relationships post-separation and it is believed that it can make an important contribution to the income of the household in which children live the most of the time. That is, if it is paid. With this in mind the obligation to pay child maintenance is of increasing importaince to a growing number of families. It is, therefore, crucial that sufficient attention is paid to the methods for determining child maintenance, as well as the problems that arise in terms of non-payment. Yet, the United Kingdom and The Netherlands have faced similar problems with their child maintenance systems failing and both have identified a need for further legislative action.