Home > Related Laws > Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 9 Feb 2016 | 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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[Add a Comment]
Jo - Your Question:
My daughter turned 16 last week, the nrp owes about £6000 , he's currently on benefits so I only receive £2.50 a week no arrears ,I know I can't do anything to recover the money owed but can my daughter take him to court ? Also would she receive legal aid ?

Our Response:
I'm afraid your daughter could not take him to court as child maintenance is awarded to the resident parent, not the child. If your ex is on benefits, then there is little hope that the money could be retreived through the courts if you decided to pursue it, as child maintenance is based on the non-resident parent's earnings.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Feb-16 @ 10:32 AM
My daughter turned 16 last week, the nrp owes about £6000 ,he's currently on benefits so I only receive £2.50 a week no arrears , I know I can't do anything to recover the money owed but can my daughter take him to court ?Also would she receive legal aid ?
Jo - 9-Feb-16 @ 3:37 PM
kell - Your Question:
I've been split from my partner years and never once paid for his 2 children he has them for a couple of weeks in the holidays and we're he can and says that's his payment cos he has to buy extra food he has always been on benefits. he has a wife and 2 children and his wife is now working but he's not would I still be entitled to anything seen as tho he's still not working

Our Response:
As specified in the article a flat rate is generally awarded to the parent who is claiming certain benefits. This is £5 per week no matter how many children are involved. It’s used if the paying parent’s weekly income is between £5 and £100 and they don’t qualify for the nil rate - please see gov.uk link here for further information.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Feb-16 @ 2:55 PM
I've been split from my partner years and never once paid for his 2 children he has them for a couple of weeks in the holidays and we're he can and says that's his payment cos he has to buy extra food hehas always been on benefits... he has a wife and 2 children and his wife is now working but he's not would I still be entitled to anything seen as tho he's still not working
kell - 4-Feb-16 @ 9:45 AM
Hi Can you please advise what the payments should be used for by the residing parent ??
Sophie - 1-Feb-16 @ 12:44 PM
My ex wife takes CSA payments but refuses to grant me any parental responsibility such as which school my child will goto or if he is taken abroad on holiday or what name he uses at school (she is using her boyfriends last name) My question is why should i have to pay CSA when my ex refuses my rights of parental responsibility?
Dela - 29-Jan-16 @ 4:54 PM
Some background info...my daughter is almost 9 month old and has never met her father. He didn't turn up to register her birth. I initiated a claim in November 2015. I received a letter this month from CMS stating that they'd worked out the weekly amount (which after deductions was £6.70) apparently, my daughters father was earning less than £40 per week (...he is a self employed lorry driver working for two haulage companies and his earnings go through his fictitious company)...I haven't received a penny to date! On chasing up the claim, the money already owing (albeit £57) is now floating around in Limboland, as my daughters father has now suddenly decided to claim benefits!?! Is there anything else I can do, other than informing the relevant authorities (HRMC and the benefit fraud line) as he has played the system for many years and is continuing to do so! Thank you in advance for any advice/help.
AylaG - 23-Jan-16 @ 2:23 PM
JP - Your Question:
I have joint custody of our son and he now spends exactly 50% of his time with me. I am paying £250 a month to his mum. Is there anyway to change either your status as the non-resident parent or have the maintenance removed completely due to this 50/50 split?His mum owns two houses and earns at least double what I earn, whilst I rent, so it seems completely unfair and stupid to me as she contributes nothing to his keep whilst he is here.Thanks

Our Response:
If you are in a family-based arrangement, then what you pay is negotiated between you. However, if your circumstances have changed and you pay via the CSA/CMS, then you need to take it up with the agency directly. If you think you are being treated unfairly, you can complain via the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Jan-16 @ 1:43 PM
Ellie - Your Question:
Is it illegal for an absent father of 1 to not pay 15% of their income? If the father is paying child maintenance every month but it is not the correct amount (ie 15% of net income as stated above)?

Our Response:
If you have a family-based agreement then the terms are agreed between you. If it goes through the CMS/CSA then the agency will calculate how much your ex should pay based upon his earnings.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Jan-16 @ 12:32 PM
I have joint custody of our son and he now spends exactly 50% of his time with me.I am paying £250 a month to his mum.Is there anyway to change either your status as the non-resident parent or have the maintenance removed completely due to this 50/50 split? His mum owns two houses and earns at least double what I earn, whilst I rent, so it seems completely unfair and stupid to me as she contributes nothing to his keep whilst he is here. Thanks
JP - 19-Jan-16 @ 8:57 PM
Is it illegal for an absent father of 1 to not pay 15% of their income?If the father is paying child maintenance every month but it is not the correct amount (ie 15% of net income as stated above)?
Ellie - 19-Jan-16 @ 3:53 PM
lee - Your Question:
HiI asked a question but got no reply please can you help

Our Response:
You will not have to pay child maintenance on his behalf. Child maintenance is the sole responsibility of the father and not the father's partner. The father has to be earning to be eligible to pay.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Jan-16 @ 11:59 AM
lee - Your Question:
Hi,My partner split up with his partner 7yrs ago now he has 2 children with her. we have been on job seekers so paid child maintenance through them. I have just recently started work so he is not working, will I have to pay child maintenance for him if he is not working.

Our Response:
No, you are not responsible for your partner's children, any child support he pays will be based on his earnings alone.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Jan-16 @ 11:05 AM
Hi I asked a question but got no reply please can you help
lee - 18-Jan-16 @ 2:45 PM
Chels - Your Question:
My ex had a good job all paid threw bank he's self employed but now he's working a cash in hand job were do I stand with a claim and will I get awarded any thing from previous wages my daughter is a year and a held old he's only recently started working cash in hand so will I be able to make a claim due to that now

Our Response:
Unfortunately, if your ex is working illegally and not paying tax then you would not be able to make a claim on earnings not declared to the HMRC.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jan-16 @ 1:44 PM
Hi, My partner split up with his partner 7yrs ago now he has 2 children with her ... we have been on job seekers so paid child maintenance through them ... I have just recently started work so he is not working, will I have to pay child maintenance for him if he is not working.
lee - 18-Jan-16 @ 11:25 AM
My ex had a good job all paid threw bank he's self employed but now he's working a cash in hand job were do I stand with a claim and will I get awarded any thing from previous wages my daughter is a year and a held old he's only recently started working cash in hand so will I be able to make a claim due to that now
Chels - 17-Jan-16 @ 6:21 PM
Graceeoneill - Your Question:
Due to some ongoing health issues, my daughter has been living with my mother for around a year now. Her bio father who doesn't see her but does pay though CSA is stating that as my daughter is living with my mother as arranged by the social services that he shouldn't be paying me but In fact should be paying whoever has the day to day care. He has contacted CSA on numerous occasions to try and stop the payments from coming to me but as I have stated to him I am still receiving child maintenance as I am the still her legal guardian therefore the payments still need to be made to me. Can I stop him from putting me through the ordeal of having to justify myself to CSA every time he contacts them? Thank you. Grace

Our Response:
One of the requirements for eligibility to apply to the CSA to arrange child maintenance is that the parent (or other person applying) has the main day-to-day care of the child. If your daughter no longer lives you, then it depends on whether she relies on you for financial support, if not, then it would be questionable whether you would be entitled to receive CSA child maintenance payments. You would have to contact the CSA directly if you feel you are being treated unfairly.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jan-16 @ 12:13 PM
Due to some ongoing health issues, my daughter has been living with my mother for around a year now. Her bio father who doesn't see her but does pay though CSA is stating that as my daughter is living with my mother as arranged by the social services that he shouldn't be paying me but In fact should be paying whoever has the day to day care. He has contacted CSA on numerous occasions to try and stop the payments from coming to me but as I have stated to him I am still receiving child maintenance as I am the still her legal guardian therefore the payments still need to be made to me. Can I stop him from putting me through the ordeal of having to justify myself to CSA every time he contacts them? Thank you. Grace
Graceeoneill - 11-Jan-16 @ 4:09 PM
star - Your Question:
My son is now 24 years old father has paid no maintenance as self employed lope hole but made a will saying he would leave all property to son. can I trust this or what should I do

Our Response:
There is nothing really that you can do, but trust your ex will have done this. Regardless of him not paying child maintenance, who he chooses to leave his property to is entirely up to him. Child maintenance is based on earnings not assets.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jan-16 @ 2:14 PM
my son is now 24 years old father has paid no maintenance as self employed lope hole but made a will saying he would leave all property to son . can I trust this or what should I do
star - 10-Jan-16 @ 1:46 PM
Hi, I have a 2 year old daughter and her Dad has never paid for her. He works full time and earns £300 a week. I am currently at full time college and am claiming income support. Am I entitled to any child maintenance being on benefits?
Helen - 8-Jan-16 @ 5:48 PM
Due to some ongoing health issues, my daughter has been living with my mother for around a year now. Her bio father who doesn't see her but does pay though CSA is stating that as my daughter is living with my mother as arranged by the social services that he shouldn't be paying me but In fact should be paying whoever has the day to day care. He has contacted CSA on numerous occasions to try and stop the payments from coming to me but as I have stated to him I am still receiving child maintenance as I am the still her legal guardian therefore the payments still need to be made to me. Can I stop him from putting me through the ordeal of having to justify myself to CSA every time he contacts them? Thank you. Grace
Graceeoneill - 8-Jan-16 @ 12:10 PM
clareeee - Your Question:
My son is 16 and in college and his father is in a mental hospital can I still claim child support

Our Response:
You can lodge a claim, yes, if your son is not working and in full-time government approved education. However, if his father is not earning and therefore does not have the incoming funds to pay, then you may be awarded a nil or flat rate payment.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Jan-16 @ 2:25 PM
my son is 16 and in college and his father is in a mental hospitalcan i still claim child support
clareeee - 6-Jan-16 @ 9:39 PM
Donater of a creation...can't call him a father as he never has been one to his son ...he baby sat once and I returnedto a distressed child and has never had him for a night. What goes around comes around...
G - 6-Jan-16 @ 9:47 AM
My daughter is turning 16 soon and her father has said he is stopping his contributions, I thought he had to pay up to the age of 18, are you able to confirm what age his payments should stop.Also, he says he is on minimum wage but he is a bus driver for about 3 years, I have believed him up until now but saw a sign on the back of a bus which wanted bus drivers for £25k, can you advise me on my rights to see his wage slip and to claim back money he has not paid.Thank you.
ClaireZ - 27-Dec-15 @ 1:29 PM
Angry mother - Your Question:
Hey, my son is 14 and his father has never payed a penny for him, even when he was working. He is now married and is a stay at home dad but has told the Csa he pays £50 a month. So he doesn't have to pay his other child's mother witch his he is no longer with!!!. A lot more than he should. Where do I stand on sorting out this problem?

Our Response:
I'm afraid you would have to sort this out with the CSA directly.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Dec-15 @ 11:52 AM
Hey, my son is 14 and his father has never payed a penny for him, even when he was working. He is now married and is a stay at home dad but has told the Csa he pays £50 a month. So he doesn't have to pay his other child's mother witch his he is no longer with!!!. A lot more than he should. Where do I stand on sorting out this problem?.
Angry mother - 22-Dec-15 @ 8:59 PM
Leah - Your Question:
Hi there, my son is 7 and lives with me on a full time basis. My ex partner used to pay me maintenance until he decided to move out of the area and move in with someone else who already has 3 children. He is now a stay at home 'dad' for her and pays no maintenance for our son. His new partner works full time. I have told him that he is welcome to visit his son any time he chooses, and he chooses to see him once a week either on a Saturday or Sunday, and this depends on whether his new partner allows him to have the car or her children aren't playing sports. I don't mind that he changes things around to suit him, as my goal is for my son's happiness and for him to have a relationship with his father. However, financially it is a struggle for me as I am scraping pennies together just to pay my bills. I am wondering if there is any way I can secure some form of maintenance from him based on the household income?

Our Response:
I'm afraid not -the CSA cannot base a maintenance assessment on a partner's income - she cannot be held responsible for the support of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Dec-15 @ 2:00 PM
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