Home > Related Laws > Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 13 Nov 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 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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[Add a Comment]
Danni - Your Question:
Can anyone help if the the non-residents parent gets a flat as part of his wages how is this worked out in the maintenance calculation? Need help please

Our Response:
Child maintenance is based purely on your ex's earnings, not his outgoings.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Nov-17 @ 2:06 PM
Can anyone help if the the non-residents parent gets a flat as part of his wages how is this worked out in the maintenance calculation? Need help please
Danni - 13-Nov-17 @ 8:32 PM
Jamesy - Your Question:
My mum gets child benefits for me as I am in full time education living with her at home. I recently applied for a Christmas time job and got accepted. She is now demanding £20 a week off me. What could I do? This is wrong because she gets child benefits for me.

Our Response:
Many young people will pay something towards their keep to help the family out. There is no law against your mother asking for a weekly contribution, regardless of whether she is in receipt of child benefit. Each family has its own rules.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Oct-17 @ 2:55 PM
@Power - I don't know where you read that. But your wife's hubby is not responsible for supporting your kids. You still have to pay.
SiT - 30-Oct-17 @ 11:53 AM
My wife divorced me about 9 years ago. At the time of the divorce she said in the divorce settlement that she would not chase me for child maintenance, however four years ago she got married and then made a claim for child support. I've just been reading, that when my ex wife remarried I should no longer be paying child maintenance...is this correct?? I have three children. Twins 17 and both in full time education and a 14 year old. They stay with me 1 to twice a week. I'm currently paying £230 a week in child maintenance. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Power - 28-Oct-17 @ 11:13 AM
My mum gets child benefits for me as I am in full time education living with her at home. I recently applied for a Christmas time job and got accepted. She is now demanding £20 a week off me. What could I do? This is wrong because she gets child benefits for me.
Jamesy - 27-Oct-17 @ 2:52 PM
My partner has two children from a previous relationship and doesn’t pay CSA for them but has an agreement to send money each month for them.. As we have split and I do not trust him I have decided to go down the csa route to ensure our daughter gets the support she needs but he keeps warning me not to and I’m wondering whether this is because he pays Peanuts for his other two and wants to do the same for our daughter
Lau - 26-Oct-17 @ 10:58 PM
My partner moved in on the 13th October we have two children together as well (long story but needed to be sure I was ready after bad relationships). Iupdated tax credits and now he's received a letter from CMS saying he owes them over £700 in fees. If he doesn't take action they will seize goods .... only problem is he owns nothing in my house, he was unemployed for 4/5 years (he got depression when his ex took off with his two kids) .... he doesn't even know where they are and not allowed access to them but still expected to pay this money ASAP. Because he's moved in I've lost working tax credits.barr £2 a week.. still get child tax credits but that's to help pay nursery whilst I work. We don't have issues about paying but think the figure should reflect he was unemployed ... living rent free with his mum.He wasn't even getting income support whilst looking for work. What can we do? I already struggle to pay all bills and have enough to feed my babies ... so even though this isn't my issue it technically is because he lives with me now. And from what I've read they don't take into consideration he has two kids at home to support as well.
Missy - 24-Oct-17 @ 9:22 AM
@Blakie - it's quite simple, tell her you cannot do it any more and that you will pay on the correct the day.
EdY - 23-Oct-17 @ 3:55 PM
Mandie - Your Question:
Hi my husband is paying Maintenance for his son , my question is ,we have just found out for the past year he never attended college so his ex has been claiming alegally, my husband contacted benefit fraud and the csa and nothing at all as been done and they just keep saying he's got to pay and basically that's it , can someone please help us

Our Response:
If his son was registered in college but never attended, then it is a tricky situation as while his ex is receiving child benefit, then your husband he is entitled to pay child maintenance, please see link here.In the first instance, he could also complain directly to CMS, please see link here . It is advisable to get as much evidence as he can in order to prove his ex claimed child maintenance fraudulently. If this does not produce the answers he needs, your husband would have to seek legal advice to see whether he has a case to take the matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Oct-17 @ 10:19 AM
Hi my husband is paying Maintenance for his son , my question is ,we have just found out for the past year he never attended college so his ex has been claiming alegally, my husband contacted benefit fraud and the csa and nothing at all as been done and they just keep saying he's got to pay and basically that's it , can someone please help us
Mandie - 22-Oct-17 @ 1:37 PM
Hi, I'm a father of two children. I have religiously paid child maintenance each and every month to the mother of my children, however the past few years she has constantly been asking for me to send her some money early, it has now become a regular thing every week!!! Our agreement for CM was mutually arranged, end of every month she gets her money.The issue is that she is now putting stress in my current relationship because there's not a weekend go by now (wether I have the kids or not) where she is not wanting money off me!! I need help and advise, how do I stop her constantly wanting money before it's due! Thanks in advance
Blakie - 21-Oct-17 @ 9:10 AM
Cathy - Your Question:
My daughters husband pays nothing towRds his 4 children apart from a non regular £7 s week when he is on benefits. Apart from that she has to support her children, herself, maintain a home ( which she had to find when her marital home was repossessed because said husband had not paid the mortgage) what can she do to get him to support his children?

Our Response:
If your daughter's husband is not earning, there is nothing else she can do to in this situation. Your daughter will be entitled to claim certain benefits as a single parent which can help her some of the way to supporting her children.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Oct-17 @ 3:07 PM
Alyson - Your Question:
Hi my son suffers from autism and is now 20. He is still in full time education. His father stopped paying maintenance when he turned 20 last month when his child benefit stopped. Should he continue to pay while he is still in full time education?

Our Response:
Where child benefit stops, child maintenance stops in line with it. As a rule, 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 they continue in full-time non-advanced education, not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then child maintenance payments will continue until the child finishes the course or until they turn 20. You may wish to seek further advice from CMS, given your son's autism. In some cases child maintenance can be extended either via CMS or through the courts.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Oct-17 @ 9:47 AM
My daughters husband pays nothing towRds his 4 children apart from a non regular £7 s week when he is on benefits. Apart from that she has to support her children, herself, maintain a home ( which she had to find when her marital home was repossessed because said husband had not paid the mortgage) what can she do to get him to support his children?
Cathy - 19-Oct-17 @ 8:35 PM
Hi my son suffers from autism and is now 20. He is still in full time education. His father stopped paying maintenance when he turned 20 last month when his child benefit stopped. Should he continue to pay while he is still in full time education?
Alyson - 19-Oct-17 @ 2:35 PM
My ex refuses to pay maintenance and has done for the last 6 years.My eldest two are over 18 and working but still have a 14 & 13 year old. he has them every other weekend for 2 weeks. His bitterness is overwhelming an he threatens me every time I ask for money towards whatever the children need.I previously had almost £10k written off by the child maintenance as he was never going to pay and as the children have a relationship I could not send him to prison, although that is where he should be.he was self employed and these people seem to get away with paying their dues,I'm not sure if he is still self employed or an employee. He says if I submit a claim he will just give up his job. I have been very reasonable and only asked for £50 a week to help, he will not engage in any discussions and refuses point blank to pay.I am now standing up to his threats and speaking to child maintenance. The system needs changing in respect of self employed that cheat the system
Alison1569 - 17-Oct-17 @ 11:45 AM
@Bigdon - if his lifestyle doesn't equate to his low income, your partner can take her ex to court. The court will assess his lifestyle to see whether he may be sidelining money, but your partner will have to be careful as she really has to prove he is doing this as it could end up costing her.
Danman - 16-Oct-17 @ 3:22 PM
Hi we are having problems with my partners ex husband he keeps managing to get his payments lowered, he is currently at£32 a week for 2 kids problem is costs are going up as the kids get older due to growing school trips etc . He is self employed with a good business . Cannot keep school appointments due to the amount of work , but claims to earn below minimum wage . He drives around in a newish car just brought a new van has motorbike , boys toys all the latest game consoles, just purchased a new caravan . He can do all this on £200 a week . I think he is filtering money out of the company via his current partner and listed director so she is getting paid the most for doing nothing in the company and he gets just enough to avoid paying fairly for his children . He lives well beyond his means especially a he declared himself bankrupt 2 years ago and find it hard to swallow he can amass all his toys over 2 years on minimum wage. What can we do ? Can we request the csa do a home visit ?
Bigdon - 14-Oct-17 @ 11:30 AM
Sorry...spell checker lol meant to say separate not desperate!!
Chelseafalls - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:59 AM
Hi... My partner and I have children from previous relationships but not together. I have 2 and my ex pays me maintenance privately but using csa calculator. My partner pays for his 3 (1 from a long time ago and 2 from ex wife) through csa. We are going to be living together and so my child tax credits as a single mum will decrease because they will take into account his wage. We want to keep everything desperate I.e I keep everything as is and he will pay me monthly towards house bills and food shopping. Problem is, he pays 410 per month which is a huge chunk from his wages and on tax credit calculator it asks for incoming not out going so looks like he brings more than he does if that makes sense. Is there a way round this?
Chelseafalls - 13-Oct-17 @ 11:56 AM
Hi, initially I was paying maintenance for my three children following separation until the one child moved back to me. I reduced the payment by a third but I'm now thinking that I am out of pocket as I'm still effectively paying for all three. Shouldn't I get maintenance for the one that I have? How does this work? How is it calculated?
Dave2 - 10-Oct-17 @ 9:38 AM
Tarmac - Your Question:
As a paying parent are my resident children taken into account when paying csa to my ex? I does not really state in the booklet. In the old system it did.

Our Response:
If the paying parent’s gross weekly income is between £200 and £3,000 and they pay child maintenance for other children, this is taken into account when working out how much they should pay, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Oct-17 @ 2:18 PM
Hi, Recently my son moved out to live with g/parents. I Contacted Child Benefit to tell them of change and that I am contributing. They happy with that unless someone else makes claim and then they would inform me. G/parents household income over £60k so knew they couldn’t. His Dad might but probably wouldn’t contribute. He lives with partner and her child. I contacted child maintenance to set up payments- used to have family arrangement but missed payments and paid differing amounts. He has told CM he lives at his parents with his Son. He also tells them he has shared care of our other child as she stops there 1 night a week. This is all lies as he does not live there and never has. However on the form it now says he has no shared care and that he is in receipt of child benefit. I do not understand. Does claiming child benefit for our 1 child reduce his maitenance payments for his other child. Also how accurate are the records for his income. Child maintenance say they received info via Hmrc that was given by company or accountant. He is the Director of company with his father and they have a very good but dodgy accountant as money is poured into one (sons dads)business from a sucessful one (sons grandfather) to avoid massive tax bills.
Annebol - 5-Oct-17 @ 10:16 AM
as a paying parent are my resident children taken into account when paying csa to my ex? I does not really state in the booklet. In the old system it did.
Tarmac - 3-Oct-17 @ 7:12 PM
@Momof4 - unless the income is taxable, then no.
Harrison - 3-Oct-17 @ 10:44 AM
Hi, My ex is receiving compensation payments on top of his benefits, will he pay child maintenance on the compensation income? Thanks.
Momof4 - 2-Oct-17 @ 11:39 AM
Jolanta - Your Question:
Hello, as I am a single parent, because not with my partner coz we just toxic to each other but he is a good dad, do I have to claim child support?? I don't want to, paperwork is just giving me a headache and he is always giving some money when I ask. Is there a law that says that I have to claim child support??

Our Response:
No, you can come to a family-based arrangement, which means you have an agreement between yourselves. You do not have to involve CMS.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Oct-17 @ 11:11 AM
Hello, as I am a single parent, because not with my partner coz we just toxic to each other but he is a good dad, do I have to claim child support?? I don't want to, paperwork is just giving me a headache and he is always giving some money when I ask. Is there a law that says that I have to claim child support??
Jolanta - 1-Oct-17 @ 12:39 PM
@Jayjay- no you shouldn't. What cheek. It's his child too, he can supply the things he needs for his daughter when she stays at his. What's the point of him paying child maintenance if he gives it with one hand and expects to take it back with another. Honestly, some men!
LisaLee - 29-Sep-17 @ 1:49 PM
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