Home > The Basic Facts > Child Support Guidelines

Child Support Guidelines

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 30 Sep 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Agency Csa Child

The Child Maintenance Service opened in 2012 and now manages all new applications for a statutory arrangement. Child maintenance is usually paid by the non-resident parent to the resident parent and it is about providing help and support towards your child/children's everyday living costs. It includes things like food and clothes, and helping to provide a home for your child or children.

About the Child Maintenance Service

The Child Maintenance Service uses slightly different rules to the Child Support Agency. The CSA manages statutory arrangements set up before December 2013. The Child Maintenance Service encourages parents, if they can, to make an arrangement between themselves by agreeing the amount and type of child maintenance paid. This is known as a family-based arrangement. A child maintenance calculator can be accessed via the Child Maintenance Options website to work out how much the paying or receiving parent will pay or receive. It is good to use as a benchmark between parents to conduct their own assessment.

When parents cannot organise payments between themselves

The statutory Child Maintenance Service is for separated parents who can't sort out child maintenance between themselves and, its assessors will only get involved if a parent asks them to. Providing accurate, up-to-date information relating to a claim enables CMS staff to process an application more easily. Without this information, the correct amount of maintenance payment cannot be worked out and processed. With Maintenance Direct and Direct Pay, the paying parent can pay the other parent directly, once a child maintenance amount has been calculated. A 20% collection fee on top of the usual child maintenance amount is added for paying parents using the Collect & Pay service. A 4% collection fee is deducted from their usual child maintenance amount for receiving parents using the Collect & Pay service. A £20 application fee is charged for either parent applying to the statutory scheme.

Child Maintenance Options

Child Maintenance Options is a free service provided on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. Child Maintenance Options is separate from the Child Maintenance Service and is the first port of call when finding out which is the best way to make child maintenance arrangements. It can give free impartial information and support to help parents make informed choices and decisions. It can also give information about applying to the CMS statutory scheme and using Direct Pay and Collect & Pay.

The guidelines are set out on the Child Maintenance Options website and help answer any questions and concerns parents may have about making a maintenance claim. It also gives helpful advice on coping with separation and dealing with your emotions. As well as more practical elements such as taking control of your finances, housing rights and options and organising mediation. Information available also covers areas concerning tracing, maintenance calculation and dealing with disputes.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
When I got divorced from my husband he paid me £150 a month for both my children. I never felth this was enough but i went with it. When my eldest daughter turned 18 he only paid me £75 a month for my youngest. He stopped that when she turned 16 because she left formal education and didnt work due to mental gealth reasons.My youngest daughter is now just turned 18, and is now at college, full time. Is he obliged to start paying me child maintenance again? Also, i am currently off work on long term sick leave and on half pay, so I need the money even more, i have to still pay to keep a roof ove my daughters head.i would appreciate any advice.
Fi - 30-Sep-19 @ 8:51 AM
Where can I get advice on old CSA debts. The CSA never sent any letters or warnings apart from a final letter saying liability was at an end this was over 12 years ago. Now out of the blue in 2019 and the child being now 30yrs old we received a demand from the old CSA for payment. We responded with evidence but they just passed the case to the new department without a response and without giving us any decision or notice. Where can I find the rules on how you appeal or what the process is? Its very worrying as the paying parent is now a pensioner. We had a private arrangement so now very difficult to get proof of payment after 12 plus years. Thanks for your assistance
JA23 - 14-Aug-19 @ 3:22 PM
Hi my step daughter has just left home out of the blue and moved in with a friend.to cut a long story short her mum payed my husband child maintenance this I know will have to stop but this friend is wanting the payments to go to her where do we stand legally
Lraz - 1-May-19 @ 6:35 PM
helper - Your Question:
Hi I am looking for a bit of advice for my 80 year old neighbour she has residency of her 14 year old grand daughter and wondering if she can get any help of anyone financially.

Our Response:
You can see more via the GrandparentsPlus link here, which should help answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Feb-18 @ 11:55 AM
Hi I am looking for a bit of advice for my 80 year old neighbour she has residency of her 14 year old grand daughter and wondering if she can get any help of anyone financially.
helper - 1-Feb-18 @ 8:37 PM
my son is 5 years old, its always an argument to get him to help me with our son financially. he gets him on the weekends. my fear is if i put him on child support he may go an ask for 50/50custody and i don't want that . my son will be devastated if he stays with his father more then a day.
princess - 9-Oct-17 @ 4:02 PM
Hello I need help I'm being discriminated in excessive child payment A deduction of earnings order of £295 they have taken £3200 in 11 payments They have refused to be reasonable That £295 is a reasonable amount to pay in support but 24% charge taken out and still £2000 on debt When I've paid £4500 in 21 payments They won't take it off doe for another 6 months My child support was reduced from £55 to £33 being £22 contact costs They have denied this And £1500 in profit is legal Their action against me has not been moral and if it's immoral it's illegal I want to pay at a reasonable rate But my living wage is not acceptable Xmas holidays birthday parties or presents Which is my children's basic needs also food is a basic need a home for them to be safe in is a basic need I feel that their action against me is discrimination detrimental to my children and me To be denied an income To a pwc who is cocersive and controlling which also is a crime So cms is criminal and not about children's basic needs it's about stealing homes contact money Lack of respect dignity Mis management mal practice losing forms that are about change of decision that would be fair and amerceable But chikd reform laws are immoral and the action of financial abuse is common ground not common law Kids should be provide for but not as a punishment through domestic abuse or abusive ex partners Family law needs addressing If the pwc Denys access then it child abuse And they should be prosecuted and nrp awarded full custody because their action pwc won't change So it's abuse and dishonest to be instructed by dishonesty to collect fraudulent payment that put fathers in hardship and the easy way is just to walk away How is that a fair or democratic process for children of great British Parents it's a scam being used to demonise fathers It's all a punishment lack of contact lack of earnings Stress of not giving to children basic needs and rights For children to love in filthy and neglected environment Because that is the mainstream way In modern woman Who has no respect for themselves or others Chikd support laws are an arse Arrest me how is that my children's best interests ?
Dave - 18-Nov-16 @ 12:27 PM
my son is now a year and few months. the father has. never been present since he was informed of the pregnancy. I delivered my boy after final exam at college. currently still looking for work, we basically living of my parents. we (my parents and i ) have given the father ample time to come forth, but he hasnt tried contacting. will the courts grant me maintenance for my son? and myself as im currently unemployed?
julz - 29-Feb-16 @ 9:18 PM
@May - It depends on the course they are taking and whether it is an approved course. Please see: At What Age Do Child Maintenance Payments Stop? Link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Jan-15 @ 12:14 PM
If the child quits School and is saying they are going to home school but don't think they really will what is the guide lines for them to stop child support?
May - 28-Jan-15 @ 5:36 AM
@booey, just because your ex has remarried does not mean her new husband has parental responsibility. You are still liable for child support because they are your children! Even if the new husband applied for parental responsibility they will always be your children and you will always be liable for child support!
RealDad - 30-Sep-14 @ 11:06 AM
the mother of my child has married and her husband now has parental responsibility, she wants to change childs name to his,am I still liable to pay child support?
booey - 29-Sep-14 @ 8:18 PM
if I have my kids for a week in the holidays do I still need to pay my ex her weekly money I pay for kids or as I have the kids all week should I not be paying my child maintenance thats week??
Dan Cowan - 25-Sep-14 @ 12:12 PM
Jo83 - if his name is not on the birth certificate you will need to get a paternity test to prove that he is the father before you can claim. I believe this is a cost he will have to pay. If you put his name on the birth certificate he can contest it with a paternity test himself.
DGT74 - 15-Nov-13 @ 5:52 PM
If a father has not been present during the pregnancy and has refused any contact to discuss options, and it is apparent that he will not be on the birth certificate, can I still claim child support?
jo83 - 21-Nov-12 @ 8:00 PM
My son is now 17 and has left secondary school but is looking at doing engineering at college and Im wondering if I should still be paying maintenance. I have a court order that states "until 17 or ceases full time secondary education". Can someone please advise.
skinhead - 29-Aug-12 @ 3:24 PM
my son stays with my ex partner 3nights a week and he's saying he doesnt have to give me any money is this true?
ems - 11-Jun-12 @ 2:09 PM
I have been surved a court order to appear in court for child maitenance for a man of twenty one,i have read thruogh your information and found out that my payments should have stopped when he turned 19 or finished school.I am still paying his post matric studies and yet his mom is still demanding R 3500 a month.I work out of country and when i am back i will have to travel eight hours to appear in court ,i just feel like i am being abused.
non - 1-Jun-12 @ 10:02 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
  • Flynny
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    My brother has had my child from feb til now October I’ve taken this to court but because of the pandemic it’s took til now to have a hearing…
    20 October 2020
  • Steve
    Re: Can I Get Back Pay for Child Maintenance?
    How do I get 6 year back child maintenance my wife disappeared with the boyfriend I managed to track her down and…
    20 October 2020
  • Grace O'Sullivan
    Re: The Law and Single Mothers
    Hi. My daughters dad and I are separated and he wants to have her for a full day/ night weekly. However as she is only 7 months old…
    19 October 2020
  • Mother
    Re: Your Legal Rights as a Parent
    Hi me and my partner are currently fighting to get our son back from care he is 7 months old his childrens guardian is trying to…
    18 October 2020
  • John D
    Re: Child Custody Rights
    I am a father of nine children and I can't cope with them anymore. I feel I can't give them what they need. I think their mother is a good…
    15 October 2020
  • Hyperion57
    Re: How the CSA Works
    I Have being paying an agreed amount (£200) per week to support my children since my divorce back in may 2017. this as about £50 more than what…
    9 October 2020
  • vick
    Re: Can I Get Back Pay for Child Maintenance?
    I was awarded child maintenance for my 3 children in 2009 at total for the 3 was less than £9 per week. I was so…
    8 October 2020
  • WonderingWoman
    Re: Can a Parent Give Up His or Her Parental Rights?
    I have two children. I’m a single parent with one child I can not cope with (massive and unusual…
    8 October 2020
  • Carljones
    Re: What Happens When the CSA/CMS Gets it Wrong?
    October 2019 the mother of my child decided to cancel her claim and write of the arrears. I had few letters…
    7 October 2020
  • Goalkeeper
    Re: Can a Parent Give Up His or Her Parental Rights?
    My ex partner is making my life a living hell as long as I keep seeing my son my head can’t take all the…
    6 October 2020