Home > Related Laws > Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 17 May 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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Mummy- Your Question:
My daughter is 4 months old , the father is currently receiving benefit so I'm getting £7 weekly , he has however just retired and is requesting his pension to be paid in a lump sum , is this counted as income ? he hasn't informed our case worker of the pension money either

Our Response:
For the purposes of the CSA/CMS, earnings are the funds that are taken into account after the deduction of income tax, national insurance contributions and pension contributions. Pension contributions must be regular, and lump sum payments are unlikely to count. Money that an individual receives that are not classed as ‘earnings’ include: statutory payments made by an employer for reasons of maternity, paternity, redundancy or adoption pay; tax credits; social security pension, benefit or allowance, any payments made under a disability pension or benefit; or a guarantee payment under social security pensions legislation. However, you may wish to seek further advice regarding this via CMS as private pensions and occupational pensions may be classed as earnings.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-May-17 @ 11:52 AM
My daughter is 4 months old , the father iscurrently receiving benefit so I'm getting £7 weekly , he has however just retired and is requesting his pension to be paid in a lump sum , is this counted as income ? he hasn't informed our case worker of the pension money either
Mummy - 17-May-17 @ 6:56 PM
Lobby - Your Question:
I am in receipt of a war disability pension attributable to a military injury. I am working and have been paying my ex the amount that was agreed through the court order at divorce.A few years ago my ex partner decided that I was not paying enough so I suggested that she go through the CSA which she did. The answer she got was not to her liking as I was in receipt of this pension and I could of paid her a substantial amount less than I was. I kept the payments the same as I had done arranged through the court order.Over the last few days I have received a letter from the CMS and they have said that I will have to pay more money. Can anyone advise me if payments have changed now the CMS is in place as I have been on the website and it transfers you to the government website and I have used the calculator to work out my payments and it comes out the same as when the CSA were involved. If I am working and in receipt of a war disablement pension I am eligible to pay full maintenance??? Please helppp. Thanx

Our Response:
I'm afraid we have no knowledge of the finer workings of the administrative and assessment procedures of CMS. You would have to contact them directly, and/or complain via the link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 17-May-17 @ 11:38 AM
I am in receipt of a war disability pension attributable to a military injury. I am working and have been paying my ex the amount that was agreed through the court order at divorce. A few years ago my ex partner decided that I was not paying enough so I suggested that she go through the CSA which she did. The answer she got was not to her liking as I was in receipt of this pension and I could of paid her a substantial amount less than I was. I kept the payments the same as I had done arranged through the court order. Over the last few days I have received a letter from the CMS and they have said thatI will have to pay more money. Can anyone advise me if payments have changed now the CMS is in place as I have been on the website and it transfers you to the government website and I have used the calculator to work out my payments and it comes out the same as when the CSA were involved. If I am working and in receipt of a war disablement pension I am eligible to pay full maintenance???. Please helppp. Thanx
Lobby - 16-May-17 @ 6:14 PM
hoppy - Your Question:
My 6 yr old son cries and gets upset when he knows he has to go see his dad, the court gave him visitation rights, and I dont want to stop him being with his dad, but would like to get to the bottom of it, he doesnt pay anything towards him, can I ask for supervised visits?

Our Response:
Once a court order is in place, if you do not stick to the terms of the court order then you would be in breach. Any changes to a contact order must be agreed by both parties. One party cannot unilaterally decide to change the order or apply additional terms. If they wish to do so, they will need to refer the matter back to court. Your only recourse would be to ask the child's father if he wishes to move to supervised visits until the matter is resolved. However, if he refuses, then you would have to stick to the order or risk being taken back to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-May-17 @ 12:26 PM
my 6 yr old son cries and gets upset when he knows he has to go see his dad, the court gave him visitation rights, and i dont want to stop him being with his dad, but would like to get to the bottom of it, he doesnt pay anything towards him, can i ask for supervised visits?
hoppy - 15-May-17 @ 7:54 PM
I am just coming up to 65 and will shortly receive the state pension. I also have a private pension. According to the CSA calculator if a pwc is in receipt of the state pension the payment is fixed at £7 per week. The calculator does not ask if there is any private pension income or if you are still working. Is it the case that this fixed amount is correct under these circumstances. The CSA/CMS websites do not clarify this in their wording. I don't have too long to pay as my youngest is now 18. Any clarification would be appreciated.
Mike1 - 12-May-17 @ 8:21 PM
My ex-husband pays a set amount each month for the children. He has them 1 night a week and a couple of times a week for tea. He doesn't buy ANYTHING extra such as school trips, trainers, hair cuts etc. He thinks the payment he makes should be spent DIRECTLY on the children and not on bills/rent/diesel etc During the school holidays, if he has the children for a few days/weeks - would this make a difference to the payments he makes?
KS - 6-May-17 @ 9:13 PM
Lostboy - Your Question:
Im 30yrs old and my father who's name is on my both certificate never paid anything towards my up bringing is there any way I can claim what he should have pain in back payments? Thank you

Our Response:
In a word, no. Only the resident parent would have been able to make a claim for you from the non-resident parent (your father), up until you finished full-time education.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-May-17 @ 2:14 PM
Im 30yrs old and my father who's name is on my both certificate never paid anything towards my up bringing is there any way I can claim what he should have pain in back payments? Thank you
Lostboy - 4-May-17 @ 9:00 PM
It is 20% for one child and reduces to 15% when there is two. By your calculations, it would put the other parent in financial difficulty to pay and increased percentage with each additional child. The percentage would need to drop, not rise. Please amend your website as this kind of incorrect information can be destructive.
Mumi - 2-May-17 @ 10:48 AM
Fred - Your Question:
My ex partner is claiming non means tested jsa (unable to work owing to a recent conviction).Has paid nothing for over 8 months for our children yet has substantial savings and enjoys a very good standard of living.I work part time and am strugglingWould the CSM be able to insist on disclosure of her savings and payment for our children that way?Or is it just the JSA that is considered so making it possible for her to hide her wealth til 12 mths expires and she is reassessed and gives the money to her new partner

Our Response:
Child maintenance is based solely on taxable earnings not savings. Therefore, if your ex is not working, then she will be eligible to pay only flat, or nil rate. If your ex is claiming non-means tested JSA, then her savings will not be taken into consideration. As long as she is actively seeking work, then she can claim regardless of the amount of money she has in the bank. Once she starts earning a wage again, then you will be eligible to claim child maintenance based upon the income she earns.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Apr-17 @ 12:25 PM
My ex partner is claiming non means tested jsa (unable to work owing to a recent conviction). Has paid nothing for over 8 months for our children yet has substantial savings and enjoys a very good standard of living. I work part time and am struggling Would the CSM be able to insist on disclosure of her savings and payment for our children that way? Or is it just the JSA that is considered so making it possible for her to hide her wealth til 12 mths expires and she is reassessed and gives the money to her new partner
Fred - 26-Apr-17 @ 8:04 PM
Daughters dads in prison, can i get child support from his private pension.
Missy - 21-Apr-17 @ 12:46 PM
Sarah Potts - Your Question:
My partner is paying £400 per month for his son who lives 150 miles away. He has to pay to pick him up which is rvery Holiday which costs £50 in fuel. We have found out that the child is currently living with his grandparents but we are paying the mother who lives in a separate house. Can anybody tell me if this is allowed or should be declared?

Our Response:
Your partner may be able to apply for a special expenses variation through CMS, please see link here. You would have to speak to CMS directly if his child is living elsewhere. However, regardless of where his child is living, your partner would still have to pay child maintenance to the person the child is living with. However, if his ex is no longer the primary carer of his child, then so would his ex have to pay child maintenance to her mother.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Apr-17 @ 1:59 PM
My partner is paying £400 per month for his son who lives 150 miles away.He has to pay to pick him up which is rvery Holiday which costs £50 in fuel. We have found out that the child is currently living with his grandparents but we are paying the mother who lives in a separate house.Can anybody tell me if this is allowed or should be declared?
Sarah Potts - 20-Apr-17 @ 4:56 AM
My 17 year old daughter lives with me and she received child maintenance as she is in full-time education.If she works full-time over the summer holidays, then takes up non advanced full time education again in August what happens re the child maintenance payments? Also gaining a place in collage depends on her exam results.What happens to maintenance payments between her leaving school and taking up her collage course? And what happens if she fails to secure a place in college, then needs to find full-time permanent work instead?
Norma - 31-Mar-17 @ 7:00 PM
I pay child maintenance for my 5 year old who lives full time with her mum (court action in place for me to get proper contact). My question is the fact the mother to my child has had her new boyfriend move in because they have had a child together does this change the amount I should be paying? Could I talk to the court about it since she even gets my child to call him dad so it's like they are married but she has said before the ont reason they arn't married is because then I wouldn't have to pay?
Johny - 31-Mar-17 @ 4:55 PM
Mainer - Your Question:
My ex wife is asking for me to agree (court order) to pay £600 per month for my children until my eldest is 18 years old (7 years from now). Then reduce that until £400 until the 2nd is 18 (9 years from now) and then £200 until the youngest is 18 (11 years from now). The amount I should pay presently according to the CMS is £340. I am being told that if I agree to this then it is actually only for 12 months and I can ask for the CMS to review the payment after a year of the order being put in place. If I agree to this, can I ask for a re assessment in a year please or will I be fixed to this payment please? My wages fluctuate as I am self employed so can not guarantee I can maintain the £600. I was paying £700 for the first three years of us being separated and reduced it six months ago because my circumstances changed. My ex wife is adamant about this being the agreement. We've already agreed a financial settle and I have made the first payment towards that. She has now decided that she wants to change things. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Our Response:
You do not have to agree to this. If you would prefer to be assessed through Child Maintenance Services, then this is your prerogative. If a child maintenance agreement is decided through court, then each time you needed to make changes (if your circumstances change), you would have to apply to court to vary the order and this can become costly. Likewise, your ex can also apply in time to have this agreement altered, for instance if it does not keep up with the cost of living - or if your children remain in full-time government approved education beyond the age of 18. Also, you may find it difficult to extract yourself from this arrangement if your earnings reduce etc. Therefore, I would tread carefully here. You may wish to seek legal advice regarding your best options.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Mar-17 @ 10:51 AM
My ex wife is asking for me to agree (court order) to pay £600 per month for my children until my eldest is 18 years old (7 years from now). Then reduce that until £400 until the 2nd is 18 (9 years from now) and then £200 until the youngest is 18 (11 years fromnow). The amount I should pay presently according to the CMS is £340. I am being told that if I agree to this then it is actually only for 12 months and I can ask for the CMS to review the payment after a year of the order being put in place. If I agree to this, can I ask for a re assessment ina year please or will I be fixed to this payment please? My wages fluctuate as I am self employed so can not guarantee I can maintain the £600. I was paying £700 for the first three years of us being separated and reduced it six months ago because my circumstances changed. My ex wife is adamant about this being the agreement. We've already agreed a financial settle and I have made the first payment towards that. She has now decided that she wants to change things. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Mainer - 27-Mar-17 @ 12:34 PM
My ex wife stop paying for elder son but his in uni and I am supporting him. So how do go about that she contribite something towards my elder son??
manoj - 25-Mar-17 @ 1:24 PM
gloryhunter - Your Question:
Hello im a Dad with a current DEO in place however I am being stopped double what I should be paying as the csa told me there where arrears! however there are no arrears and even my ex wife has contacted the csa telling them so, even went as far as telling them even if there was arrears she wanted them written off the csa have now agreed there are no arrears but continue to take double.The ex wife has shown me how much she is getting from them so are the csa stealing from me because she is getting half of what I'm paying.

Our Response:
If you feel you are being treated unfairly, you have the right to complain. Please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Mar-17 @ 12:35 PM
I have a current DEO and am still paying double what I should be paying after I was told there where arrears however my ex wife has stated that she doesn't want any arrears and that there never was any so why am I still paying double ? I have spoken every week for the last two months but never seem to get an answer! myself see this as stealing money off me every week and therefore a criminal offence !
gloryhunter - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:35 PM
hello im a Dad with a current DEO in place however I am being stopped double what I should be paying as the csa told me there where arrears! however there are no arrears and even my ex wife has contacted the csa telling them so, even went as far as telling them even if there was arrears she wanted them written off the csa have now agreed there are no arrears but continue to take double. The ex wife has shown me how much she is getting from them so are the csa stealing from me because she is getting half of what I'm paying.
gloryhunter - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:26 PM
Blue - Your Question:
Is the interest on my savings included when determining any payments ?Thank you

Our Response:
Unearned income, such as income from savings and investments, isn’t taken into account when the CMS makes a maintenance calculation. However, if the receiving parent believes the paying parent has substantial unearned income, the receiving parent can ask the CMS for a variation of the maintenance calculation.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:15 AM
Is the interest on my savings included when determining any payments ? Thank you
Blue - 15-Mar-17 @ 7:01 AM
David - Your Question:
Hi,I'm a single father with a 12yr old son who lives with me. I had to give up a career in management so that I could take care of my son as he rarely sees his mother who has 2 children with another partner. She does not provide any child support at all. She does not need to work as her partner earns enough to support her very comfortably. She doesn't claim any benefits because of the household income. She owns her own home, and flies to Dubai every 2nd month for holidays. Is it possible to claim support from her or has she found the perfect loophole?

Our Response:
Unfortunately she has found the perfect loophole. Any maintenance calculations are based on the parent rather than the parent's partner.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Mar-17 @ 1:43 PM
Hi, I'm a single father with a 12yr old son who lives with me. I had to give up a career in management so that I could take care of my son as he rarely sees his mother who has 2 children with another partner. She does not provide any child support at all. She does not need to work as her partner earns enough to support her very comfortably. She doesn't claim any benefits because of the household income. She owns her own home, and flies to Dubai every 2nd month for holidays. Is it possible to claim support from her or has she found the perfect loophole?
David - 7-Mar-17 @ 6:45 PM
TMG349 - Your Question:
My daughter is 19 years old and will finish her college course at the end of March. I have been paying child support payments to my ex via a voluntary agreement since 2013 as I was working abroad where no reciprocal agreement existed. My daughter will start employment once she finishes her college education at the end of March, my question is.how long after my daughter finishes college do I need to pay child support?

Our Response:
Officially, you should pay until the end of the school year (August 31) and/or when child benefit stops. However, if you have a family-based voluntary agreement, you can decide when payments should stop between yourselves.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Mar-17 @ 11:17 AM
My daughter is 19 years old and will finish her college course at the end of March. I have been paying child support payments to my ex via a voluntary agreement since 2013 as I was working abroad where no reciprocal agreement existed. My daughter will start employment once she finishes her college education at the end of March, my question is....how long after my daughter finishes college do I need to pay child support?
TMG349 - 5-Mar-17 @ 10:22 AM
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