Home > The Basic Facts > Child Maintenance Options

Child Maintenance Options

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 10 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Consent Order Csa Child Support Agency

Any lone parent in need of financial assistance has the right to claim child support maintenance from the absent, or non resident, parent of the child or children. The Child Maintenance Service is a government executive agency with authority to collect and distribute maintenance benefits from one parent to another. This maintenance payment is calculated according to income, and can be collected and distributed to the parent with care via a 'Direct Pay' arrangement. However,the preferred route is for parents to make their own agreement via a 'family-based arrangement'.

A gradual three year process for CMS to replace CSA began in July 2013. All CSA cases will close and any new cases must now be opened with CMS. If you have a case with CSA, you will receive a letter confirming the date that your case will be closed at least six months before the file closure. Parents can choose to re-open their closed CSA cases under the CMS scheme.

Private Agreement

Provided there is an amicable relationship in place between both parents, a family-based arrangement offers a flexible option. Without getting the courts or CSA/CMS involved the parent with care and the non-resident parent can discuss financial requirements and expectations between them. Any decision made can be drawn up in an official document if required.

Consent Order

This option requires a court ruling to be made. A Consent Order is a mutually agreed decision regarding how much maintenance is to be paid, and the frequency of these payments. This agreement can be made privately, between the parents, or with the aid of a solicitor. This agreement is then given to the courts in order for it to be turned into a Consent Order. This form of arrangement usually takes place if parents are already going to court, either as a means of dividing assets or as part of divorce proceedings.

Other ways to organise payments

If there has been an acrimonious divorce or separation, or communication has broken down between parents, CMS will gather relevant information, calculated maintenance payable, collect payment and distribute to the parent with care.

The process requires the collation of information, regarding non resident parent’s income and circumstances, from the parent making a claim for child support. This information is then assessed and maintenance payment is then either collected from the non-resident parent or directly from the parent’s employer.

However, if the parent with care is unable to provide contact information for the non resident parent, the CMS will have to trace the parent. This process slows down the application for child maintenance considerably but there may be no other suitable option available to the parent with care.

If family circumstances change, it is also the resident parent’s responsibility to inform the CSA and CMS of these changes, as maintenance payments received may be affected in some way.

Most separated parents agree that both parents should pay towards the upkeep of their children. However, making arrangements for children after separation isn't always straightforward. Parents can access helpful support and free advice via the Child Maintenance Options website.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Mummyhippo - Your Question:
Hello,What is the age the CSA will not claim child maintenance? If it’s 19, will the child maintenance claim, stop on the child’s 19th birthday or at the end of the child’s 19th year?

Our Response:
Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what the child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then maintenance payments will continue until the child finishes or until they turn 20. As child maintenance stops when child benefit eligibility does, you can see more via the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Mar-18 @ 2:44 PM
Hello, What is the age the CSA will not claim child maintenance? If it’s 19, will the child maintenance claim, stop on the child’s 19th birthday or at the end of the child’s 19th year?
Mummyhippo - 10-Mar-18 @ 8:30 AM
Kitty- Your Question:
So my partner is letting is daughter go and live with her mum who has never paid for her, he will now ofcourse have to pay for his daughter we have worked it out at about 150-200 a month but we can't afford it. We also have two children of our own that live with us and another on the way. Will the payments bee reduced as he's the main provider I have no income myself and worried that we won't be able to afford to live in my home if he has to pay that and support me and our 2/3 children aswell

Our Response:
I can only point to how child maintenance is worked out, please see link here which will tell you all you need to know.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Feb-18 @ 3:06 PM
So my partner is letting is daughter go and live with her mum who has never paid for her, he will now ofcourse have to pay for his daughter we have worked it out at about 150-200 a month but we can't afford it. We also have two children of our own that live with us and another on the way. Will the payments bee reduced as he's the main provider I have no income myself and worried that we won't be able to afford to live in my home if he has to pay that and support me and our 2/3 children aswell
Kitty - 17-Feb-18 @ 8:58 PM
I have paid maintenance payts at £200 pert month since 2006. Our son is now 16. I am not registered with the CSA. I retired 5 years ago on reduced incomeand have maintained th £200 per month. Two years ago our son starts at a special residential school for children with learning difficulties. My ex claims carers allowance and recovers travel expenses alternate weekends when our son goes home. How does this impact on two issues, first my reduced income in retirement since 2012 and second, my sons attendance at boarding school where the State pays for everything ie food, tuition, accommodation. Should I be eligible to pay less maintenance on account of thefacts I have just listed?
Buckles - 7-Oct-17 @ 2:46 PM
helpneeded - Your Question:
I have been with my partner for a few years and married for 3, he has a girl fro his first marriage and receives child maintenance from his ex-wife, if we separate would I need to contribute?

Our Response:
Your partner's child is not your financial responsibility. You would not have to pay child maintenance.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Jul-17 @ 12:06 PM
I have been with my partner for a few years and married for 3, he has a girl fro his first marriage and receives child maintenance from his ex-wife, if we separate would I need to contribute?
helpneeded - 15-Jul-17 @ 2:08 PM
Steve - Your Question:
Advice required. Me and my ex partner currently have an agreement in place where by she receives £250 per month. I am about to start a court process to have a parental agreement set in stone, although she now feels that she is entitled to an additional £30+ a month which would then have a negative effect to my finances. Does she have grounds to go to the CSA to get this additional money, even though we have an agreement in place?

Our Response:
Yes, your ex partner is within her rights to do this. You can see how much you should be paying via the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Feb-17 @ 12:03 PM
Advice required... Me and my ex partner currently have an agreement in place where by she receives £250 per month. I am about to start a court process to have a parental agreement set in stone, although she now feels that she is entitled to an additional £30+ a month which would then have a negative effect to my finances.Does she have grounds to go to the CSA to get this additional money, even though we have an agreement in place?
Steve - 23-Feb-17 @ 2:17 PM
Hello I did not live with my ex partner for 8 months I helped her move closer to my home so I could or we could be closer as a family I went guarantor on a property,she ran awayfrom the home she was buying she neglected her home her home was a bin or a toiletfor her three dogs I was disgusted by her neglect and we split up I told her that fact after she abducted my two kids and ran away from the home I signed for her and left that home in neglect and damaged I was going to be prosecuted by the letting agent I told her that fact that she was dirty She refused any contact with my children for 9 months She sent me a letter through her solicitors saying two two hour visits a week thinking we could get back together again I said no im here for my children That broke down October 2012 family court judge awarded me contact and pr for my children Which I did and have done for four years I have been to family court 9 times for increased access because she has refused even with a court order in place Feb 2014 my child support was £84 per month It is now a doe of £378 ,x2£250,x2£228,x6£295 x3and now £229 and till march next year When I paid a standing order from my bank to cms 10 x in total of £1400 I was classed as a de fault payer and non compliant Because the direct payment I asked for if 10% of my wages was not enough Obligation of payment I went to mediation she refused to attend I went family court they refused saying contact is separate to support payments The action of being put into poverty by dishonesty for a children's provision Says I'm in poverty so my children are I've asked for a mandatory reconsideration and I was awarded £1160 a year in contact costs Which is now two year £55 reduced to £33 £22 being the reduction It's written it's a contract they have refused this offer and say my payments are £34 plus £6 charge Again this is a lie because they charge 24% every payment So in the £4,500 I've paid I'm still in arrears of £2000 ? So my doe has not reduced my arrears but a charge of £1500 has been taken out So out of my £7.77 an hour 140 contract I've paid or will have paid £5,000 since nov 2015 Out of my 15,500 before tax insurance housing collection statuary bills and food By taking £378 jan of this year I failed to pay for my home No apology just pay up we want and we'll grab as much as possible I get paid next weeka year of doe And my children don't get presents Because pwc can instruct cms to deny me a living wage Cms have said we are not governed by consumer transaction act The fair financial act We don't recognise human rights act And we have not breached any contract because every contract we have sent has been legal Morally is it right to be denied a living wage if I earn it If the pwc can refuse dismiss and lie use perjury put hatred in my children heads deny them contact with their biological father by threats of the police if
Dave - 23-Nov-16 @ 7:13 PM
Babyboo - Your Question:
Hi, my ex husband and we have always been amicable, but recently things have taken an unsavoury turn. He's always paid me child maintenance of £200 per month verbally agreed by ourselves, today I have received a text from him stating "My child maintenance payments have been reassessed, I have been overpaying you for over a year now so as of the end of November your payments will change to £182.27. We will talk about the repayments of the overpayment at mediation" Can he ask for repayments? There is nothing in place, or on paper to suggest what he pays, it's always been a verbal arrangement. Plz help. X

Our Response:
He can't force you to repay the surplus amount if you have always been paid via a family-based arrangement and not through the CMS/CSA.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Nov-16 @ 10:16 AM
Hi, my ex husband and we have always been amicable, but recently things have taken an unsavoury turn. He's always paid me child maintenance of £200 per month verbally agreed by ourselves, today I have received a text from him stating "My child maintenance payments have been reassessed, I have been overpaying you for over a year now so as of the end of November your payments will change to £182.27. We will talk about the repayments of the overpayment at mediation" Can he ask for repayments? There is nothing in place, or on paper to suggest what he pays, it's always been a verbal arrangement. Plz help. X
Babyboo - 31-Oct-16 @ 2:52 AM
My partner lives in Singapore but works for a UK company and pays a hypothetical tax which the company takes from his wage. Can the CMS make a claim on the basis of him paying hypothetical tax and that he's contracted by a UK company but lives in Singapore full time?
F - 8-Sep-16 @ 10:19 AM
Thanks at moment it's in her name and we are in the process of swapping names on Child benefit all she's saying is i can claim tax credits and don't need any money from her to support are child at moment he lives with me full time and if she can she will have him for a night or 2 and that she we support him when she has him witch sounds crazy in my eyes
Godaddygo - 22-Jan-16 @ 5:36 PM
Godaddygo - Your Question:
Can any1 help plz my wife left and at moment she's having my son when she can she's saying when she's sorted we will share are son 50/50 I can't work due to illness and with me been at home she's has done well climbing the ladder at work do I have any rights to claim any money off her to support are son

Our Response:
You can see whether you are eligible to claim through the CMS calculator, here. Also if you are the primary carer then you should be able to apply child benefit. Please see Turn2Us link hereto see if you are entitled to other benefits.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Jan-16 @ 12:14 PM
Can any1 help plz my wife left and at moment she's having my son when she can she's saying when she's sorted we will share are son 50/50 I can't work due to illness and with me been at home she's has done well climbing the ladder at work do I have any rights to claim any money off her to support are son
Godaddygo - 21-Jan-16 @ 7:06 PM
shana - Your Question:
I have a 3 month old baby I live in Jamaica with the baby. The father of the child live in england.How do I get support for the child

Our Response:
Jamaica is a member country of Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO). See link here which gives you the contact details in order to apply.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Oct-15 @ 2:55 PM
I have a 3 month old baby I live in Jamaica with the baby. The father of the child live in england.How do I get support for the child
shana - 5-Oct-15 @ 7:10 AM
Annsim - Your Question:
We have an agreement for my 2 year old girl to pay so much per month. 1st Question: should I have an agreement drawn up by court ? 2nd Question: as the child age increases, can I justify an increase in payment to secure educational and special needs; ie result of debilitating injury, or disease. Agreement procures two nights per week and alternate weekends.

Our Response:
If it is a family-based agreement then it can either be officially drawn up between yourselves, drawn up though mediation, through a solicitor or via the CMS. Only an order made though court is official - anything less can be changed at any time, dependent upon the circumstances. However, the courts will always suggest you try and resolve the issue through mediation first before taking it to court. If your daughter has a debilitating injury, then perhaps it may be better to have the arrangement made through mediation or the courts to procure her long term care. However, if she hasn't and you are posing a hypothetical question, then it would probably be better to leave this until such an eventuality (which hopefully wont), occured. Please see our partner Separated Dads site link, Mediation - What is is and is it for Me? here, to see if mediation may suit you best. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Sep-15 @ 10:43 AM
We have an agreement for my 2 year old girl to pay so much per month. 1st Question: should I have an agreement drawn up by court ?2nd Question: as the child age increases, can I justify an increase in payment to secure educational and special needs; ie result of debilitating injury, or disease.Agreement procures two nights per week and alternate weekends.
Annsim - 24-Sep-15 @ 6:45 AM
@gaffers - it is rare and has to be for a good reason for the courts to allow a father to relinquish their parental responsibility, and especially not in order to escape paying child support - you can imagine the amount of men that would try and wriggle out of doing this. Have you thought of trying the other route and taking it to court to apply for access to try and get to know your children? You can self-litigate if you do not wish to pay the high court fees, see link here . I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Mar-15 @ 3:00 PM
I have two children, 6 and 4. I was fortunate enough to spend a year with the 6 and only 1 week with the 4 year old before the relationship broke right down... No contact at all since 2011, by phone, letter anything.. Nothing, the mother remarried, and raises my 2 kids that she dosnt let me see. There is no court order or nothing against me, just her arrogance.. I have to pay a large amount of csa, for children iv hardly ever met or have contact with.... If I signed over full parent responsibility to her would I still have to pay csa???
gaffers - 28-Mar-15 @ 8:59 AM
@cuddles - you can appeal against that through its Complaints Resolution Team who will look into it. It's shocking how they can just take money from your account, especially when you've told them and then for them to tell you you can't have it back.
Mick - 6-Jan-15 @ 3:04 PM
@inapickle - you'd really have to sort it out with them. Usually you can't have a retrospective payment. But if CSA weren't notified of the change in circumstances (i.e. your child coming to live with you), then she might be able to you, and you would have to prove that your child lived with you and that it was agreed between you.
Bella - 6-Jan-15 @ 3:00 PM
i have been unemployed since Dec. and informed the CSA of this .I have now checked my bank account and the full and amount od child support has been deducted.CSAtel me they can not refund even though I now have nothing in the account.Is this right
Cuddles - 5-Jan-15 @ 2:32 PM
Advice needed... I left my wife with both children and an agreement was made with the CSA regarding payments.This was paid by direct debit.One of my children then decided to live with me and me and my wife decided we would pay for the child in our care so no money was exchanged.This worked for 8 months until she decided she wanted money again so we both put a claim into the CSA to see how much needed to be paid.She has now decided she wants back payment for the 8 months that no payment was made, which we both agreed.Can she do this? Thanks.
inapickle - 4-Jan-15 @ 2:52 PM
@Pierre, she will get the full amount.
frank - 23-Sep-14 @ 10:23 AM
After csa takes out what is needed out my check how much does the mother gets after? Do she get the full amount that they take out or do she gets half
Pierre - 22-Sep-14 @ 9:59 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Enforcement of CSA/CMS Payments
    sarahsunny - Your Question:Himy ex husband is self employed, he declared a very small salary initially and was paying around…
    19 June 2018
  • Dolly
    Re: The Use of Child Support Payments
    My partner pays his ex £80 pm and we have his daughter 3 nights and 4 days pw. We also have his stepson (his ex's son) 1-2…
    19 June 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: The Law and Single Mothers
    Smile - Your Question:Hi, my marriage is breaking down due to my husbands behavior. I’m living here on spouse visa but my child is…
    19 June 2018
  • sarahsunny
    Re: Enforcement of CSA/CMS Payments
    hi my ex husband is self employed, he declared a very small salary initially and was paying around £20 a month for my…
    19 June 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: The Use of Child Support Payments
    Anna - Your Question:Hi myself and my ex have been separated for 2 years our 2 children live with me my ex lives with his…
    19 June 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    S246 - Your Question:I have been split from my ex since 2011 when he assaulted me. He see's our 7 year old son once a month sometimes a…
    19 June 2018
  • Smile
    Re: The Law and Single Mothers
    Hi, my marriage is breaking down due to my husbands behavior. I’m living here on spouse visa but my child is British through him. He…
    19 June 2018
  • Anna
    Re: The Use of Child Support Payments
    Hi myself and my ex have been separated for 2 years our 2 children live with me my ex lives with his parents he dosnt pay…
    19 June 2018
  • S246
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    I have been split from my ex since 2011 when he assaulted me. He see's our 7 year old son once a month sometimes a little more depending on…
    18 June 2018
  • ChildSupportLaws
    Re: The Use of Child Support Payments
    Sam - Your Question:Hi, my partner pays child maintenance calculated via CMS and his ex wife has confirmed that this is to…
    18 June 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.