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Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 12 Oct 2018 | 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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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
I have been paying child support, initially through CSA and for the last two years as a direct payment agreed by the CSA, I have never missed a payment ever and even continued while I was out of work. My son went in to full time education at 16 on a 2 year course, he dropped out after about 5 months but my ex wife got him to lie to me for the past 19 months that he was still at college so I would continue to pay. Do I have any grounds to claim over £10,000 back as surely this is immoral (my son was put in a very awkward position and should of told me) as well as fraudulent. Please advise.
S - 10-Sep-18 @ 3:13 PM
pj - Your Question:
Under Scot's Law can my son pay child maintenance directly to his 16 year old child?

Our Response:
Only if the other parent agrees as part of a family-based child maintenance arrangement.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Sep-18 @ 1:43 PM
Under Scot's Law can my son pay child maintenance directly to his 16 year old child?
pj - 29-Aug-18 @ 8:12 PM
I am about to get married to a lovely man. He has a 10 year old son who we have stay every weekend, he pays his child maintenance religiously never failing. His ex partner is now threatening that when we marry she can have part of my income taken from me as well to pay for her son. Is this correct? I was always under the impression that only biological parents have to contribute to their child.
Concerned wife to be - 27-Aug-18 @ 8:32 AM
Hi, I just wanted to ask, I have 2 children with my ex. They live with me and I care for all their needs. My ex has since had another child and is claiming to be paying child maintenance for that child as though he is living separately from the mother. They are married and are living together. What can I do please?
Em - 20-Aug-18 @ 2:33 PM
I need to get together with you because I've got exactly the same problem. I want to know what the law is now to retrieve money I know I'm due regarding bringing up 2 little girls on my own with no money from my ex-husband. Now he's got money and he's in denial
Jane Jones - 18-Aug-18 @ 1:23 AM
My ex is due to inherit a large sum can do I get him to pay his arrears for child maintenance and could I ask for a lump sum instead of monthly payments?
SammieC - 17-Aug-18 @ 6:23 PM
boodles - Your Question:
Hi,My partner pays voluntary child maintenance through a private agreement. He is self employed and because his business is in its infancy, he earns very little. I, on the other hand am a homeowner and earn a reasonable wage. His ex is now claiming that because he is living with me that he should pay more child maintenance because my earnings should be taken into account. I'm almost 100% certain that this is not correct but could you please clarify?

Our Response:
Only your partner's earnings will be taken into account, not yours. You will not be held responsible by CMS for paying child maintenance to his children.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Aug-18 @ 9:45 AM
Hi, My partner pays voluntary child maintenance through a private agreement.He is self employed and because his business is in its infancy, he earns very little.I, on the other hand am a homeowner and earn a reasonable wage.His ex is now claiming that because he is living with me that he should pay more child maintenance because my earnings should be taken into account.I'm almost 100% certain that this is not correct but could you please clarify?
boodles - 6-Aug-18 @ 11:03 AM
Bert - Your Question:
Hi,My son and I moved out of our family home and have lived together for a number of months, after we gave him the choice of who he wanted to be with. He resides with me, but sees his mother every other weekend and a night during the week. I don't ask her for anything, but Is she entitled to any maintainance? He lives with me, but I wanted to check.

Our Response:
The person who recieves child benefit is considered the primary carer. If you are in receipt of child benefit, then your ex cannot request child maintenance and you can request child maintenance from her. If your ex is still in receipt for child benefit and she applies to CMS, then you would have to prove that your son resides with you. In order to be officially considered the primary carer then you should ensure that child benefit is paid directly to you.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Aug-18 @ 2:04 PM
Hi, My son and I moved out of our family home and have lived together for a number of months, after we gave him the choice of who he wanted to be with.He resides with me, but sees his mother every other weekend and a night during the week. I don't ask her for anything, but Is she entitled to any maintainance? He lives with me, but I wanted to check.
Bert - 31-Jul-18 @ 10:30 PM
Frustrated Mum - Your Question:
My son is 19 and he has just finished full time college(NVQ Level 2 ) and I will still receive child benefit until the end of August 2018. His father stopped paying maintenance 2 weeks ago as his wife said he shouldn't pay now and I was under the impression as long as I got child benefit I should get maintenance. Am I wrong? and if I am right please can you direct me to the information to send to him to resume his payments for the next 5 weeks.I am so frustrated as he didn't have the decency to tell me he just stopped and my son has secured himself a job and I have had to pay for a full business dress wardrobe and it is not cheap and his father wouldn't contribute.Thank you all for your help Louise

Our Response:
When your child leaves approved education or training, payments should officially stop at the end of February, 31 May, 31 August or 30 November (whichever comes first). If the father is paying via CMS, then CMS will collect arrears as the father should keep paying while you are in receipt of child benefit. However, if you have a family-based child maintenance arrangement it will be more difficult to enforce as family-based arrangements are mutually decided. In order to enforce the claim, you may have to take the matter to court. In the meantime, a solicitor's letter stating your rights may work.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jul-18 @ 3:02 PM
My son is 19 and he has just finished full time college(NVQ Level 2 ) and i will still receive child benefit until the end of August 2018. His father stopped paying maintenance 2 weeks ago as his wife said he shouldn't pay now and i was under the impression as long as i got child benefit i should get maintenance. Am i wrong? and if i am right please can you direct me to the information to send to him to resume his payments for the next 5 weeks. I am so frustrated as he didn't have the decency to tell me he just stopped and my son has secured himself a job and i have had to pay for a full business dress wardrobe and it is not cheap and his father wouldn't contribute. Thank you all for your help Louise
Frustrated Mum - 25-Jul-18 @ 10:39 PM
Minime - Your Question:
My daughter is 16 her father is in the army never paid maintenance for her in 15 years can my daughter claim it of him

Our Response:
Children or youths cannot claim child maintenance, only parents can.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Jul-18 @ 10:22 AM
My daughter is 16 her father is in the army never paid maintenance for her in 15 years can my daughter claim it of him
Minime - 22-Jul-18 @ 11:21 AM
Itsme - Your Question:
My 30 year old daughter's father never paid child maintenance even though he's on her birth certificate. When she reached 16 he did want to know her but she refused. He has recently died and left no will. Question is can I claim child maintenance owed to me from his estate ?

Our Response:
You cannot claim child maintenance owed to you from his estate. You can see more via the link here regarding who can claim if there is no will.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jun-18 @ 9:45 AM
My 30 year old daughter's father never paid child maintenance even though he's on her birth certificate. When she reached 16 he did want to know her but she refused. He has recently died and left no will. Question is can I claim child maintenance owed to me from his estate ?
Itsme - 27-Jun-18 @ 2:58 PM
Tomo - Your Question:
My son has now got engaged to his girlfriend of 7 months (she has 2 small children) and has moved out of my ex-wife’s. He goes to collage 2 days a week (full time) I’m told I have to continue to pay the ex-wife until he is 21 or starts full time employment lasting at least 4 weeks. He is 18 years old. Surely this is wrong paying the ex when my son no longer lives there. Please advise.

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether you ex receives child benefit. Once child benefit stops, then so should child maintenance payments please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Jun-18 @ 9:55 AM
My son has now got engaged to his girlfriend of 7 months (she has 2 small children) and has moved out of my ex-wife’s. He goes to collage 2 days a week (full time) I’m told I have to continue to pay the ex-wife until he is 21 or starts full time employment lasting at least 4 weeks. He is 18 years old. Surely this is wrong paying the ex when my son no longer lives there. Please advise.
Tomo - 20-Jun-18 @ 3:42 PM
Mel - Your Question:
My sons dad has not paid a penny in 3 years my son is 6, he informs me that because he now has him 8 nights a month (split over the month) he has 50/50 rights and owes me nothing is this correct ?? Any advice would be great

Our Response:
You can see how child maintenance is paid via the link here. Unless you have a family-based agreement whereby you agree to a shared-care arrangement, then you are entitled to apply for child maintenance.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-May-18 @ 12:07 PM
My sons dad has not paid a penny in 3 years my son is 6, he informs me that because he now has him 8 nights a month (split over the month) he has 50/50 rights and owes me nothing is this correct ?? Any advice would be great
Mel - 20-May-18 @ 9:36 PM
@nicknack - but your husband isn't supporting his new partner's son financially. Other children are only taken into consideration if they are biologically his. So his child maintenance to you for his kids should not differ.
MaTT - 17-May-18 @ 2:18 PM
My husband has been paying maintenance to me every month for the last 4 years since we split, no problem... but he has today informed me that the monthly payments will now go down as he has now moved in with his girlfriend and her 12 year old son. We agreed the maintenance payment amount between ourselves but based on the csa calculator. When I said that this deduction cannot be correct, he said this deduction is correct based on what the csa/cms website says. Please advise
nicknack - 15-May-18 @ 6:49 PM
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