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Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 18 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Agency Csa Benefits

If you are the parent of a child, or children, and are raising them on your own you are entitled to claim child support payments from the non resident parent. This periodic maintenance payment may be agreed by private arrangement between both parents, but it may also be collected and handled by the Child Support Agency (CSA), in cases where there is a breakdown of communication between the adults.

Absent parents, who refuse to pay maintenance, can also be traced by the CSA and have an enforcement issued.

Are You Entitled To Claim?

Child support is a regular maintenance payment that is paid to parents who live with their children, by the parent who does not live in the same home. This periodic payment is made to assist the parent with care with the rising costs of raising a child. This payment can also be made to another family member or legal guardian if the child lives with them.

Child support is paid to a resident parent when a couple separate or divorce, or they have children but are not living together. The payment is made to provide financial support and to confirm responsibility for the welfare of the child. These payments also help to minimise the need for other forms of benefit.

How Is Maintenance Calculated?

The CSA work out the payable rate of maintenance by applying one of a number of rates to the absent parent’s income. Income means money earned from employment, tax credits or personal pension. Income tax and National Insurance is deducted, along with money that is paid into a pension plan. The remainder of the income is then evaluated and a basic, reduced, flat or nil rate is applied. The amount is adjusted according to how many children are involved in the maintenance application.

How Much Are You Entitled To?

Child support maintenance payments are calculated by the CSA, after assessing the income and living circumstances of the non resident parent. The amount of maintenance a parent with care will receive is calculated as being 15% of the non resident parent’s net income – for the first, or only child. The payable amount of maintenance increases to 20% of net income for two children, and to 25% for three. Children from subsequent families are treated in the same way.

Shared Parenting

If the child stays with the non resident parent for at least one night a week the amount of payable maintenance, given to the parent with care, is reduced accordingly. This situation is called Shared Care, and the amount of maintenance is reduced by one-seventh, for each night of the week that the child stays at the non resident parent’s home.

If care is divided equally between the parents the weekly amount of payable maintenance is halved in two, and reduced again by the required £7.

Flat Rate

If your maintenance payments are set at a flat rate, due to the non resident parent being on benefits or receiving allowance, shared care will mean that the maintenance payable to the parent with care is almost nothing.

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Hello, my partner pays 45.00 direct to the mother of his 12 year old daughter p/w, but has recently lost his job and has no income other than mine. The mother is now claiming that I have to pay it as he can't, from what I am aware This isn't true but I need to know for sure, is this true? Thanks
Taylar - 18-Feb-17 @ 6:30 PM
Is it right that my husband has to pay £45 a week to the mother of his child when she is unemployed and claiming all the benefits that she can plus now stopping my husband from seeing his child. She recieves this sum on top of all the benefits that she gets.My husband has been through court and has a court order to see his child with added progress but she will not allow progress. We paid 7000 in court fees whilst she paid nothing plus has a car and house off the goverment and all she does it smoke drugs and has no intention to get a job. The child is not a baby so does not need full time care as the child goes to school and does a lot of after school activities. There is also no reason and even settlesd in court that my husband has done anything wrong to not be able to see his child. Basically the mother just eas not impressed that the father got married. I just dont understand why a working couple that are hungrey to see the child and the mother has no reason to stop us or even the father for that matter. If she just didnt want myself to see the child id be fine with that but the child is missing out on seeing his loving doting father. I wouldnt mind so much if it helped the benefits system for instance what we pay they then deducted saving the govement finances but the mother is to recieve this on top off ful benefits. She has a car, car insurance and car tax and a full rent house paid for by government. She gets burserys of gas and electric. Myself and my husband even pay for his clothes. So i dont understand what she could possibly need all that money for and to not even give anything back to the government. Not only does she recieve the tax we all employed people pay and she is now recieving our wages aswell. Please if anyone has a solution to this it would be great or if this is atchually correct?
Lou - 17-Feb-17 @ 5:33 PM
My ex husband and I have a family agreement of him paying £378 for our 2 children to live full time with me. He sees them 4 nights a month on average. How can I find out how much he earns? As he had agreed he is paying me less than he should do? I've asked him outright what he earns and he says he has no legal right to offer that info to me. I've spoken to the CMS and they have said unless I want to go down the official route I have no way of ever knowing what he earns. How can this be possible that he never has to disclose his income? I know he gets regular increments to his pay and has recently had a promotion which would be financially rewarded too. Surely our 2 children should have a legal right to an increase in their CM which is reflected by my ex husbands salary increases? Everything is increasing by inflation. How is it right the CM payments don't? Surely there should be some sort of law that enables the receiving paying parents to find out what level of income the paying parent has so they know that their children are being cared for at the correct rate. We did the family based agreement to keep things amicable but how can things be amicable if he's earning more and able to pay bills that are all subject to inflation yet keep the CM at the level it what was agreed almost 7 years ago with no inflation added to it.
OBTS11 - 17-Feb-17 @ 1:24 PM
Sow - Your Question:
Hi I have always payed my ex for our 1 child for the past 8 years since we split up, I pay a set amount of £50 p/w also I pay school uniforms holidays, trips and pick her up 1 hour away, she claims full benefits including DLA and carers allowance as she has an illness ! Is this ok for her to claim all the money and receive payments from me ( the father )

Our Response:
Regardless of what her benefits are, she is still entitled to receive money from you. As your child's father, you are responsible for paying towards the upkeep of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Feb-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi I have always payed my ex for our 1 child for the past 8 years since we split up, I pay a set amount of £50 p/w also I pay school uniforms holidays, trips and pick her up 1 hour away, she claims full benefits including DLA and carers allowance as she has an illness ! Is this ok for her to claim all the money and receive payments from me ( the father )
Sow - 15-Feb-17 @ 3:37 PM
@Taylor - If he is not supporting you - I'd tell him, if he doesn't you are going to get a job. You need to be able to support yourself!
Amy - 14-Feb-17 @ 11:45 AM
Hi I want to know what to do , my husband stays in the Uk and I'm staying abroad with the 2 kids , both are his own but the mine is a little one, she is 5 years old.The other one is my step son.Now he refuse to pay for maintenance.He doesn't allow me to get a job bcos of his insecurities now I can pay for a flat we staying in and I can't pay for my child education and welfare, please help.
Taylor - 13-Feb-17 @ 1:25 PM
Hi My ex husband and I have been separated for almost 3 years. To date he has never paid any cms as he insists the benefits which I receive for our 2 children (DLA for 1 child, child tax credits and child benefit) is sufficient to provide for their needs. I have the children 4 nights per week and he has 3 nights per week, roughly 60/40 care. Last year I was aware he was struggling financially, so I agreed to sign over the child benefit (for one child), to help towards feeding our children when in his care. Am I being greedy by claiming any cms from him, barring in mind I provide everything, clothes, shoes, coats, mobile phones etc. In the past he's always insisted that I receive the 'lions share' of the money, therefore I'd be unreasonable to further claim cms? TIA
dillydallster - 13-Feb-17 @ 1:13 PM
Pip - Your Question:
I pay maintenance to my ex and also an amount directly to my daughter as a mutaul agrrement as csa case was closed in dec 2015 my daughter is now 17 and working and also still in education under old csa rules if the child starts work you didnt have to pay maintenance.is this still the case.

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 your child chooses to do. If she has continued in full-time non-advanced education, not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then your maintenance payments will continue until your child finishes the course (or reaches age 20). In addition, if she has a part-time job alongside her education, then you would still have to pay child maintenance. However, if she is working full-time, or is serving an apprenticeship where she is earning money, but studying/training, then your child maintenance payments would stop. The main thing to find out is whether your ex is in receipt of child benefit. If she is, then child maintenance payments should continue until child benefit stops.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Feb-17 @ 11:24 AM
I pay maintenance to my ex and also an amount directly to my daughter as a mutaul agrrement as csa case was closed in dec 2015 my daughter is now 17 and working and also still in education under old csa rules if the child starts work you didnt have to pay maintenance ....is this still the case...
Pip - 2-Feb-17 @ 12:52 PM
Hiya Mr Boyfriend has 4 children three of which he pays direct to the mother her child maintenance and one which he has arrears for as the main reason for this was his daughter now 19 has never lived with her mother and her grandparents that brought her up said the didn't want any money when it was offered CSA have said they can see the two different address so know his ex was living somewhere else but say they can only take some money off the arrears and he must pay the rest causing hime now to lose 40% of his weekly wage....is this correct. Yours Thankfully
Andi - 1-Feb-17 @ 2:54 PM
My Partner and I seperated 1 year ago. We never legally lived together and I have had little or no help from him over the years. We have 2 children together. He recently inherited a property that he sold for 400k. For the last 3 months he has paid me 100 per month for both children. Am I entitled to more if he hasnt what is classed as an income but has savings.Thanks
herona - 27-Jan-17 @ 5:36 PM
Rhax - Your Question:
My partner has two children from a previous relationship and has always paid child maintenance, also every demand for extra money from the ex is always paid. He also pays more than £200 in petrol every school holidays so he can spend time with his children (we are in Scotland they are in England) he pays half of school clothes aswell. Recently the ex didn't believe the money being paid was enough and was sure my partner was lying about the income, therefore the family based arrangement was thrown out the window and CSA were brought in, she now gets 20p less a week. And has now been worse than ever when it comes to arranging the children coming up. She barely communicates now, as she is probably embarassed by the outcome. She now gets the children to contact for money. Is she entitled to ask for any more? Or is my partner well within his right to say no.

Our Response:
Your partner is well within his rights to say no. Whatever further money he chooses to give to his children is discretionary once child maintenance has been officially assessed. If he has to travel to see his children, he may also be able to request a special expenses variation, please see CAB link here. Likewise, if his ex is withholding access to his children in return for extra money, he should take legal advice regarding taking the matter to court to apply for a contact order. Child maintenance and child access are not related and children should never be held to ransom for financial reasons.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jan-17 @ 11:17 AM
My partner has two children from a previous relationship and has always paid child maintenance, also every demand for extra money from the ex is always paid. He also pays more than £200 in petrol every school holidays so he can spend time with his children (we are in Scotland they are in England)he pays half of school clothes aswell. Recently the ex didn't believe the money being paid was enough and was sure my partner was lying about the income, therefore the family based arrangement was thrown out the window and CSA were brought in, she now gets 20p less a week. And has now been worse than ever when it comes to arranging the children coming up. She barely communicates now, as she is probably embarassed by the outcome. She now gets the children to contact for money. Is she entitled to ask for any more? Or is my partner well within his right to say no.
Rhax - 26-Jan-17 @ 2:49 PM
James23390 - Your Question:
Hi can anyone help me , my son has lived with me for 5 months now and my ex partner has agreed. We haven't been to court yet so I can get full residency can I ask her for maintenance as he does not live with her?

Our Response:
The answer is yes, to both questions. If your ex agrees to you caring for your child on a permanent basis and becoming the primary carer then you can either agree between you, make an agreement through mediation (which is overseen by the courts) or apply to court. However, court is only necessary if you don't agree as parents who should be the primary carer and you want to apply to establish your parental rights. If so, then please see link here . With regards to child maintenance, if your ex is earning then you can either have a family-based arrangement or apply via the CMS, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Jan-17 @ 12:46 PM
Katana- Your Question:
Hi! What happens when the child maintenance established by the CMS is still not enough and the parent who cares for the children (2) can't possibly earn more and gets benefits as well? To mention that the paying parent has brought officially his income to a minimum though he is actually earning more.

Our Response:
A person cannot claim more child maintenance above the amount the non-resident parent has been assessed to pay. If the paying parent is earning more than declared, then this still would have to be proved via the HMRC through the CMS.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Jan-17 @ 11:47 AM
Hi can anyone help me , my son has lived with me for 5 months now and my ex partner has agreed . We haven't been to court yet so I can get full residency can I ask her for maintenance as he does not live with her?
James23390 - 24-Jan-17 @ 10:46 PM
Hi! What happens when the child maintenance established by the CMS is still not enough and the parent who cares for the children (2) can't possibly earn more and gets benefits as well? To mention that the paying parent has brought officially his income to a minimum though he is actually earning more.
Katana - 24-Jan-17 @ 2:50 PM
My ex husband has decided that whilst my 12 year old SOn is in his care that he will not be allowed his mobile phone. He has had a mobile since he was 6 years old as my ex lived for a while in Nottingham and didn't allow me to know where he was living and so I wrote my mobile number in his clothes so as someone could contact me heaven forbid if anything had happened to him. Can my ex husband do this?
Kate - 20-Jan-17 @ 2:53 PM
Aww - Your Question:
Hi I've been married to mu husband for 9 year. He has a child to previous relationship. I am in the middle of get fair bit of a inheritance as my mother has passed away.The will only states my name.would she be entitled to claim form it as it please

Our Response:
No your husband's child has no legal claim upon your inheritance.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Jan-17 @ 11:25 AM
Hi my disabled 14 year old son has gone to another school so stays with his dad during the week. I claim child benefit, child tax credits and dla for him. My ex has agreed to me keeping these benefits and he won't pay me any maintenance. I fought very hard for his DLA and don't want his dad to have it as he will squander it, he's terrible with money.I intend to keep it and pay for things for my son as well as pay for everything else for him, clothes, shoes, dinner money, mobile phone, pocket money, leisure centre membership, xbox points etc. He will be staying with me 3 nights out of 7 every week, will I get into trouble?
carole - 18-Jan-17 @ 6:40 PM
Hi I've been marriedto mu husband for 9 year. He has a child to previousrelationship.I am in the middle of get fair bit of a inheritance as my mother has passed away. The will only states my name.would she be entitledto claim form it as it please
Aww - 18-Jan-17 @ 3:10 PM
Eliz - Your Question:
Hi any advice would be appreciated, My ex husband is claiming benefits but has recently been left some money after his parents died and the house was sold. He has never paid a penny towards his children can I claim anything from him for the boys not me now he has this windfall.

Our Response:
Unless your ex earns from the inheritance, then you would not be entitled to claim i.e if he was left a house and rents the house out and earns an income from the rental, then that income will have to be declared to the HMRC and you would be entitled to claim via the CMS.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Jan-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hi any advice would be appreciated, My ex husband is claiming benefits but has recently been left some money after his parents died and the house was sold. He has never paid a penny towards his children can I claim anything from him for the boys not me now he has this windfall.
Eliz - 16-Jan-17 @ 11:35 PM
My ex left me with 5 children he has xsaid i will never get a penny from him for the children at the moment im getting child tax crexits but hes got away witn it for to long i now know hes working fulltime an where he lives how will me claiming off him effect my child tax credit as i know he will do everything he can to stop me claimingoff him
Red - 15-Jan-17 @ 7:10 PM
ry - Your Question:
My ex wife in claiming that I pay child maintenance. she left the marital home may 2016 and took my daughter with her. my daughter was 17 and working part time and has enrolled as a student in sept 2016. my daughter has bought a house with her boyfriend and moved in dec 2016. would someone please clarify to me of my ex wifes entitlement to a claim.please

Our Response:
If your daughter is living away from home, then your ex wife would not be able to claim child maintenance for your daughter. Child maintenance goes hand-in-hand with the mother being in receipt of child benefit (which her mother would not be legally entitled to claim if your daughter is not living at home).
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Jan-17 @ 2:40 PM
my ex wife in claiming that I pay child maintenance . she left the marital home may 2016 and took my daughter with her. my daughter was 17 and working part time and has enrolled as a student in sept 2016. my daughter has bought a house with her boyfriend and moved in dec 2016. would someone please clarify to me of my ex wifesentitlement to a claim.....please
ry - 12-Jan-17 @ 11:24 PM
Simon9093 - Your Question:
Can any one help with this one. Me and my ex partner went to court last year and a order was made out for the other parent to see the children on certain days. Since then my oldest daughter has become of the age where she doesn't have to go in the said order. I have tried to claim of the ex for the time she hasn't had her for and is now going on to twelve month later. My ex was just paying maintenance to by bank account with no agreement made between us. So I decided to go to cms child maintenance services to find out wheather she was paying me correctly. I found out she wasn't. So I told child maintenance what was going on and they sorted it out for me. To what she should have been paying me. My ex partner has now gone against what I've said to the maintenance service and they are now working on here time what are wrong. And using the court order against what I've said to them. On my understanding of child maintenance it gets reduced by the amount of time the other person spends with them. So the dates and times was correct for what I give the maintenance people over.but they are now telling me that I am in the wrong that the court order is a legal document and she should be spending that time with her so I get reduce no matter what. Is this correct or am I missing something. I have two daughters to my ex partner one does go for the times she states but the other doesn't how do I deal with this without going back court has any one got any suggestions.

Our Response:
The court order should stand. A court order cannot be changed unanimously, but can be changed via mutual agreement. However, the court order can be reverted back to at any point, as it is the official take. If the court order has been changed, and you have been having your daughter more outside the initial agreement, then you would have to take the matter back to court in order to apply for a variation. However, the CMS will also stand by this, given it is the official order, especially if your ex denies your claims.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Dec-16 @ 1:15 PM
Can any one help with this one . Me and my ex partner went to court last year and a order was made out for the other parent to see the children on certain days . Since then my oldest daughter has become of the age where she doesn't have to go in the said order . I have tried to claim of the ex for the time she hasn't had her for and is now going on to twelve month later . My ex was just paying maintenance to by bank account with no agreement made between us . So I decided to go to cmschild maintenance services to find out wheather she was paying me correctly . I found out she wasn't . So I told child maintenance what was going on and they sorted it out for me . To what she should have been paying me . My ex partner has now gone against what I've said to the maintenance service and they are now working on here time what are wrong . And using the court order against what I've said to them . On my understanding of child maintenance it gets reduced by the amount of time the other person spends with them . So the dates and times was correct for what I give the maintenance people over .but they are now telling me that I am in the wrong that the court order is a legal document and she should be spending that time with her so I get reduce no matter what . Is this correct or am I missing something . I have two daughters to my ex partner one does go for the times she states but the other doesn'thow do I deal with this without going back court has any one got any suggestions .
Simon9093 - 22-Dec-16 @ 2:40 AM
Hi, My Partners ex girlfriend is taking us to tribunal with accusations of deliberately trying to avoid paying child maintenance, due to his company being set up as a Limited company, which is simply not the case. Is there anywhere I can see previous tribunal hearings and outcomes to help us defend ourselves? Also from reading the above posts, my partner has shared parental responsibility for his child, the child spends almost half the year with us and we collect her form school on a alternate Tuesday/Thursday, take her home, complete homework, feed her etc. Would my partner be able to claim/receive half the child support/child tax credits she receives?
Amy - 24-Nov-16 @ 12:57 PM
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