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Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 13 Sep 2019 | 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 Maintenance Service, 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 CMS and have an enforcement issued.

Are You Entitled To Claim?

Child maintenance is a regular 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 CMS 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. The gross 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 CMS, 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 12% of the non-resident parent’s gross income – for the first, or only child. The payable amount of maintenance increases to 16% of net income for two children, and to 19% 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 1/7th.

Flat or Base Rate

If maintenance payments are set at a nil rate, due to the non-resident parent earning less than £7 per week, shared care will mean that the maintenance payable to the parent with care is nothing. If the non-resident parent earns between £7 and £100 or if the non-resident parent is in receipt of benefits, the payments will be £7 per week.

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Hi my ex husband has 3 children with me and is claiming he only works 30 hours a week and he pays £50 for 3 children which just about feeds the dog!!! I’m almost positive he is working much more than that and is being a Scrooge! Yet I’m left to financially support the 3 kids!! What can I do? Does anybody know? He won’t tell me where he works either?
Mel - 13-Sep-19 @ 4:03 PM
i have been paying my step daughtera chaild maintenance for over 7 years as my husband of which now separated is hopeless with money. now we have separated can i claim this back along side the other debts he has to pay half for. tha ks
woof - 26-Aug-19 @ 12:09 AM
when your eldest child goes to university and you stop paying csa do the younger children get more money
Bob - 16-Aug-19 @ 1:40 PM
My son is in the forces and has moved away from his home base, his x is now demanding more money at present for 2 children he has been paying £400 pmfor last 3years,he buys clothing and shoes for both children, using the cms calculator he is paying what he has been
Lg - 20-Jul-19 @ 4:05 PM
My daughter bring up her two under five children. Her partner gives her some money when feels like it and she is ‘being nice’ very controlling. Now has refused to pay anything and is on universal credit and struggling. How does she apply to give this money maybe deducted from source or paid directly to her? Who does she contact?
Moo - 15-Jul-19 @ 9:04 AM
Hello I'm just wondering where I stand me and my patner split up he is refusing to give me any money leaving me to struggle
Liv - 20-Jun-19 @ 7:22 PM
My ex partner was given a nil rating when he was self employed as he managed to fix it that way by not drawing a high salary from the business. He lost the business in January and since late February he is now employed by a brewery owned pub working as a head chef. He did not declare this to the CMS, so I did, as I feel strongly that it is just as much his responsibility to financial support our son throughout. I received a recalculation for my son's case this morning and it is still nil rating as my ex has supplied evidence. How can this be??? He will do all he can not to pay! Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.
HD - 20-Jun-19 @ 3:07 PM
Hi, just some help please. My 1 year old son and I split the child arrangements between us so it is 50% 50%. I earn £900 after tax and he earns £1,700 after tax. He refuses to pay and child support but earns double the amount I do, is he entitled to pay or not because we share our son equally? Thank you
Am1994 - 17-Jun-19 @ 8:56 AM
My daughter is separated and has a child with Autism. to what age will she legally be entitled to receive support from her ex?
steve - 8-May-19 @ 12:07 PM
I have an estranged daughter, who turns 18 next year. I have no contact with her. Her mum has put her against me. I have been paying maintenance religiously every month fo 15 years, never missed a payment. When she turns 18,how do I stop paying maintenance? As I have no idea if she goes to collage, working, everything is set up with rights for the mum, but what about us dads who have lost contact through no fault of theirs! The mum will try any trick in the book to keep me paying!!! Who protects us???
Shafted every time - 2-May-19 @ 11:37 PM
hi do i still have to pay csa for my son if hes 16 years old dosent go to school or college and he claims a benefit .
chazza - 2-May-19 @ 3:28 PM
My ex won’t pay for our 2 daughters, when I said I’d contact child maintenance he says carry on, as he works for cash in hand so I won’t get a penny! Is there anything I can do to get maintenance? Tia x
Amylou - 28-Apr-19 @ 6:18 PM
My son is 18 works full time and is in college full time and I pay csa to his father but he is moving to his own flat. Do i still pay? Tia
Redstar82 - 25-Apr-19 @ 8:34 PM
Hi there, my ex has been paying me £50 a week for both children for the past 6 year, I've never been able to have his pay digits as he says none of my business so how do I know I'm getting the correct amount for the children? X
Kir - 23-Apr-19 @ 11:17 PM
I have brought up my step daughter for over 10 years. Her father has 2 houses, is self employed, and has at least 2 holidays a year. As I write this, he is on his annual jaunt to America for a month. I know he owns 2 properties he rents out, and has a good income from buying and selling at furniture auctions. He has, with the help of his accountant , been able to show that his weekly income BEFORE tax etc is £46, meaning I've brought his daughter up with £7pw help from him. Can I sue him for back payment? Surely someone could serve him notice as he returns to the UK?
Sd1972 - 17-Apr-19 @ 7:45 PM
My ex partner and I have a 12 year old son, He hasn’t given me any money for over 3 years!As he has been mental unstable. But now he’s on universal credit ! Can I clam something for our son from him!!’If I did, would it effect my child benefit? I work part time and I am a home owner
Jane - 15-Apr-19 @ 5:01 PM
My partner pays csa to his ex .He was out of work for a while so now goes money they are asking for three hundred a week which does not earn we are on a joint benefit claim can they take it out of my benefits
Lou - 5-Apr-19 @ 8:56 PM
Hi I have parental responsibility of my daughter. And she stays at her mother's house 3 nights a weekbut she only has her 1 full day witch is a Sundayas she gose to school. And I supply clothes to go her mum's and I buy all the school uniform. Ect. Am I entitled to ask for some maintenance off her mum
Bronson666 - 28-Mar-19 @ 3:33 PM
I work 18 hours recently split with the dad of my 2 children and now in receipt of universal credit, what i want to know it will i recieve full amount of child support off father i was told years ago unless you did 30 hours wouldnt recieve full amount as benifits take it
Jobey1kenobey - 24-Mar-19 @ 8:32 AM
Meant to say that he is self employed and is basically lying to his accountant or getting his accountant to lie n fiddle his papers. He's also a taxi driver n works way over the legal hours hes supposed to. Also in my last message I put "can he do anything about this, but I meant to put can I do anything about this. Thanks.
Tg - 16-Mar-19 @ 11:34 AM
Hi, just wanted some advice. My ex is basically lying to child maintenance about his earnings so he pays as little as poss, he never has my Son, n when he does it's like once a month for a few hours, hes always going to Nigeria 4 a couple of months at a time, he has a mortgage on quite a nice estate which are also new builds, and he runs 2 cars, and child maintenance say he only has 2 pay 7 quid a wk!!! Hes always lied about his earnings and how many hours he works. Can he do anything about this and how do I go about proving it? Thanks you're help would b much appreciated. ????
Tg - 16-Mar-19 @ 11:29 AM
My husband and i separated in ictober last year,we have 2 children, Joanna is 13 years old and lives with her father,( my ex) and Jamie is 10 years old and lives with me, he has ADHD and ASD, I receive DLA for him and universal credit,my ex works approximately 40 hours per week and I work 16 hours per week, can I claim child maintenance from him and him from me thanks
Sueboo - 22-Feb-19 @ 1:31 PM
Hiya me and my children's dad is breaking up, he says he won't have to pay csa coz we weren't married but he's the dad to my 3 children and his name is on all 3 birth certificates and he's on benefits
Kylie - 18-Feb-19 @ 11:20 PM
My daughter passed away 6 years ago leaving her 5 year old son.He came to live with me,his nanny and grandad as his dad had not seen him for three years. We managed to contact him but he had another family and was not interested although he said he would keep in contact. His circumstances changed and he left his fam8ly to move across from us. He didn’t interact with my grandson although they did have an annual day out.He pays £70 a month but misses mon5hs when suits and does not ever contribute to any other things even though we once asked to no avail. His girlfriend has now caused some bad feelings and the dad has said he does not have to pay as he was told this. My grandson does not want to live with him I get his child benefit and have always looked after him since the moment he was born and he has never lived with his dad. He is now refusing to pay anything at all, where do I stand?
Dizzy - 12-Oct-18 @ 11:41 PM
Me and my ex partner weren't married, we have one child of almost 2 yrs. How can I refuse and return all payments he did and the child will stay living with me. What should I iniciate? The father earlier had drinking binges and was homeless because of this. Thanks for answer
Eos - 8-Oct-18 @ 11:16 AM
My ex partner pays child support to me and to his other ex but has recently got back with his ex partner should she be taken off the csa now as they are back together?
Jonsey - 3-Oct-18 @ 9:59 PM
My Daughter lives with me, but I am not her biological father, Her mother has informed him (He pays CMS to the mother) of the fact she no longer lives there. I had asked for any CMS payments to go directly into my Daughters account. My concern is that he will no longer have/want to pay towards his Daughter and as I not a biological parent am I able to claim it for her?
Steve - 27-Sep-18 @ 10:52 PM
Hi, I am divorcing my husband and currently forced to co-habit in our home. He refuses to sell or buy me out. Its 10 months since we separated and he hasn't contributed to any child related costs since then (food, clothes, medication etc). We share mortgage and most of the bills however he is slowly paying less and less towards these.I am in financial problems now and its effecting the children ability to socialize and attend eventsand even normal dietary requirements.He earns about 57K a year and earnt over 20K worth of bonus' this year already. We have done mediation and are currently going through a financial disclosure process but 2nd hearing is 4 month away. I have contacted CMS and as there has been domestic abuse since the split they said I probably would have fees waivered but my problem is Can I make an application whilst we still cohabit.We live seperate lives and dont even speak unless we have to. He doesnt do any house work,maintenance or shopping. He takes care of kids 2 days(1night) and one day on the weekends but constantly asks me to cover so he can be away. Can I make an application?? 2 children (5 and 1yrs old)
welshgirl - 26-Sep-18 @ 8:01 PM
Loubs - Your Question:
Hi my baby dad walked out over 18month ago hes not contributed a penny towards him he hasnt even seen him hes alcohol dependant amd affords too drink hes on benefits and is far from sick what are my rights regarding money towards our son

Our Response:
If your child's father is in receipt of benefits, then you would be eligible to claim £7 per week. You can see more via the link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Sep-18 @ 11:28 AM
Hi my baby dad walked out over 18month ago hes not contributed a penny towards him he hasnt even seen him hes alcohol dependant amd affords too drink hes on benefits and is far from sick what are my rights regarding money towards our son
Loubs - 12-Sep-18 @ 5:32 PM
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