Home > Related Laws > Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 18 Jan 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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@Katiemay - CMS will normally take your word for it - rather than your ex's.
OllieP - 19-Jan-18 @ 2:05 PM
My husband of 17 years walked out on me and 5 kids I tried to make an arrangement with him but did t work so I contacted child maintenance. He is not happy about it and going to tell them he has them 3 nights a week when he doesn't the kids don't want to stay with him overnight will he get away with lying.
Katiemay - 18-Jan-18 @ 5:49 PM
Sand - Your Question:
Son has turned 18. He is on an apprentiship and being paid. Do I still have to pay CMS

Our Response:
Once child benefit stops, so will child maintenance payments, you can see more via the link here , which will explain all you need to know.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jan-18 @ 2:10 PM
Hi guys, I'm thinking of gaining equal shared custardy of my 4 yr old daughter (agreed already by mother). I currently work full time (40 hrs) I am looking to have her 3 nights per week (3.5 days) I am thinking if I go part time in order to do this, can I claim any benefits that could make up the shortfall? I.e child/working tax credits.
Robert - 12-Jan-18 @ 11:35 AM
Son has turned 18. He is on an apprentiship and being paid. Do i still have to pay CMS
Sand - 11-Jan-18 @ 11:36 PM
chez24 - Your Question:
Hello I have 2 children nearly 16 (D) 13 (S) my Son stays with his Dad 2-3 nights per week. However my Daughter never stays & hasn't done for about 18 months. My question is when working out maintenance in the section on the Government website (on average how many nights a year do the Children stay over with you?) My ex is basing it on 2-3 nights.My question is should it be 1-2 nights as he is only having one our children?May be a silly question but we are near the end of our divorce & I require clarification.Thanking you in advance

Our Response:
In this case, you may wish to give CMS Options a ring directly, please see link here as information is free.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jan-18 @ 10:48 AM
Hello I have 2 children nearly 16 (D) 13 (S) my Son stays with his Dad 2-3 nights per week. However my Daughter never stays & hasn't done for about 18 months. My question is when working out maintenance in the section on the Government website (on average how many nights a year do the Children stay over with you?) My ex is basing it on 2-3 nights. My question is should it be 1-2 nights as he is only having one our children? May be a silly question but we are near the end of our divorce & I require clarification. Thanking you in advance
chez24 - 10-Jan-18 @ 12:38 PM
Hi. I'm 17, and my sons 2 months old. His father is on his birth certificate but pays nothing for him, he's visited my home 2/3 times since he's been born to see him. But doesn't take him from my home and doesn't have him over night. He's 18 and working full time. His family are all convinced he doesn't have to pay child maintenance? Should I be able to claim child maintenance if I ring csa and once I've rang them could he still refuse to pay?
Bee1803 - 24-Dec-17 @ 8:25 PM
Hi I have paid maintenance for my three kids for some 15 years.In April this year the service changed to the CMS.Given my daughter was 18 in May and there was only four months left before Sept; coupled with the fact that my daughter stayed with me more often than not than her mother, her mother filled in a new application to the CMS. After months of providing evidence, I have been told there is no dispute over 50/50 shared care.But they will not change things that I have shared day to day care.They say only one parent can have this; and I didn't apply to change child benefit (although have subsequently applied).As there was no Court Order relating to the case defining child care (we have an informal agreement 15 years ago that worked well), the CMS has told me that there IS NO EVIDENCE THAT I CAN ACTUALLY PROVIDE to prove my daughter has been living with me.I provided a diary, receipts , mobile phone bills, healthcare bills, horse maintenance bills; but still they will not concede that a have equal day to day parental care.Is this right?I have asked for all transcripts as they have lied to me frequently about the process and facts.I have also got my local MP involved as it simply is not right.The process has gone through two mandatory reconsiderations (as the first one they admitted errors and evidence not looked at).Now I am told that a Tribunal is my only route forward. Questions: 1) Is this right?I've been told there was nothing I can provide to demonstrate that my daughter lived with me more than her mother since April.Her mother has since moved away with a new family and I maintained her only bedroom.She lives with me full time now along with my other two older kids. 2) How do I start the Tribunal Appeal.The CMS decision letter talks about a 'Pack' but I can't find anywhere what the first stage is. Thanks for your help. Mike
Mike - 13-Dec-17 @ 6:26 PM
Hi I have paid maintenance for my three kids for some 15 years.In April this year the service changed to the CMS.Given my daughter was 18 in May and there was only four months left before Sept; coupled with the fact that my daughter stayed with me more often than not than her mother, her mother filled in a new application to the CMS. After months of providing evidence, I have been told there is no dispute over 50/50 shared care.But they will not change things that I have shared day to day care.They say only one parent can have this; and I didn't apply to change child benefit (although have subsequently applied).As there was no Court Order relating to the case defining child care (we have an informal agreement 15 years ago that worked well), the CMS has told me that there IS NO EVIDENCE THAT I CAN ACTUALLY PROVIDE to prove my daughter has been living with me.I provided a diary, receipts , mobile phone bills, healthcare bills, horse maintenance bills; but still they will not concede that a have equal day to day parental care.Is this right?I have asked for all transcripts as they have lied to me frequently about the process and facts.I have also got my local MP involved as it simply is not right.The process has gone through two mandatory reconsiderations (as the first one they admitted errors and evidence not looked at).Now I am told that a Tribunal is my only route forward. Questions: 1) Is this right?I've been told there was nothing I can provide to demonstrate that my daughter lived with me more than her mother since April.Her mother has since moved away with a new family and I maintained her only bedroom.She lives with me full time now along with my other two older kids. 2) How do I start the Tribunal Appeal.The CMS decision letter talks about a 'Pack' but I can't find anywhere what the first stage is. Thanks for your help. Mike
Mike - 13-Dec-17 @ 6:16 PM
I currently have shared care of my two children, who stay with me 3 nights /4days per week and with my ex 4 nighrs during term time . All holidays throughout the year are shared evenly. We each have possessions /clothes at individual houses . But she put a claim into cms and I now have to pay for this one night difference .I was awarded child benefit for 1 child given the shared care arrangements in place. Do I still need to pay maintenance for the child I claim child benefit for .
Jim - 8-Dec-17 @ 4:53 PM
@Cin - it depends what income is coming into the house. If one parent has an income and the other one doesn't for instance, then the parent with the income may have to pay child maintenance.
TaB - 8-Dec-17 @ 11:09 AM
Hi, me and my ex are still living together in my house. I pay all the monthly household bills, mortgage, gas, electric, Council Tax, TV licence etc, she doesn't pay one penny towards them. She is now saying she wants me to pay her maintenance for our 3 year old son until we eventually live apart, is she entitled to it?
AndyW - 7-Dec-17 @ 7:17 PM
My sons ex is raising their 4 year old and my son is raising their 10 year old they each have custody of 1 child full time is it right that my son is paying the mother csa but she pays nothing for the 10 year old
Cin - 7-Dec-17 @ 12:18 PM
Stressed2017 - Your Question:
My husband is due in court next week because the 'mother' of his two children refuses to pay maintenance for them, & is taking child maintenance to court. She has paid £450 in 14 months instead of the £297 per month CSA awarded my husband. She has joint custody but never sees her son & only visits the Daughter as/when (usually at two/three monthly intervals) His ex is claiming that she shouldn't have to pay for both the children as my husband lives part time with one of the children. This is because his son & daughter go to schools in two different areas & it's not possible for us to be in two places at once. My step son lives with my in laws & my husband stays there part of the week with his son & daughter & the other part of the week with me & his Daughter (& his son at weekends & holidays) Has anyone else been in a similar position? CSA say she has to pay all payments in full until the hearing but she still isn't paying a penny.

Our Response:
There is little advice to give here, as much depends upon the final decision of the courts. Each case is individual (and this is quite an unusual arrangement) and therefore is treated so. However, if the children do not live with their mother, it stands to reason she should still pay the amount allocated via CMS due to the fact she is classed as the non-resident parent.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Dec-17 @ 2:10 PM
Ness13 - Your Question:
My ex has told CMS he has no income and his payments have been reduced to nil however when my son tries to have contact with him he tells him he can't because he is working. I raised this with CMS but then the annual review came telling me nil payments due and no review for another year. I don't know what my ex does for work as we dont have any contact and personally I'm not interested in his life anymore but my son misses out on loads of things I can't afford even though I work full time and have help from benefits and he misses out on contact with his dad. I'm sure he's earning more than £7 per week. What do you advise?

Our Response:
Unless your ex is paying tax via HMRC, there is really little you/CMS can do in this resepct. Even if he is earning, it may be difficult for a court to prove and then get money from him, especially if he is being paid in cash. Likewise, proving that he is not working on some unpaid project etc, may be quite difficult if you have nothing to do with him. In order to take the matter further (i.e in court), then you would have to be able to prove that his lifestyle, assets, bank accounts and possessions are inconsistent with someone earning no money. In which case the courts would look at his accounts in depth. However, if you cannot prove this, you may be the one who would have to foot the court and legal representation costs.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Dec-17 @ 11:41 AM
My husband is due in court next week because the 'mother' of his two children refuses to pay maintenance for them, & is taking child maintenance to court. She has paid £450 in 14 months instead of the £297 per month CSA awarded my husband. She has joint custody but never sees her son & only visits the Daughter as/when (usually at two/three monthly intervals) His ex is claiming that she shouldn't have to pay for both the children as my husband lives part time with one of the children. This is because his son & daughter go to schools in two different areas & it's not possible for us to be in two places at once. My step son lives with my in laws & my husband stays there part of the week with his son & daughter & the other part of the week with me & his Daughter (& his son at weekends & holidays) Has anyone else been in a similar position? CSA say she has to pay all payments in full until the hearing but she still isn't paying a penny.
Stressed2017 - 1-Dec-17 @ 9:04 AM
My ex has told CMS he has no income and his payments have been reduced to nil however when my son tries to have contact with him he tells him he can't because he is working. I raised this with CMS but then the annual review came telling me nil payments due and no review for another year.I don't know what my ex does for work as we dont have any contact and personally I'm not interested in his life anymore but my son misses out on loads of things I can't afford even though I work full time and have help from benefits and he misses out on contact with his dad.I'm sure he's earning more than £7 per week.What do you advise?
Ness13 - 30-Nov-17 @ 6:33 PM
Jimv243 - Your Question:
My ex partner pays me maintanence. She is getting a new job with more money. I do not want my payments to increase along with her wage as she needs to sort out her debt. Can I decline an increase should they rise along with her salary?

Our Response:
Child maintenance paymetns are based purely on your salary/earnings, not your ex's.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Nov-17 @ 9:45 AM
My ex partner pays me maintanence. She is getting a new job with more money. I do not want my payments to increase along with her wage as she needs to sort out her debt. Can I decline an increase should they rise along with her salary?
Jimv243 - 29-Nov-17 @ 1:02 PM
Liz - Your Question:
My husband has had sole care of 2 children one is now 19 the other is 14,his ex wife has refused to contribute anything towards thier keep from when she left them12 yrs ago, she has claimed she does not earn but her husband and herself have thier own business and pbviously recieve an income,she was also in receipt of a lg sum of money which is fact,how can people like this get away with this

Our Response:
If your husband's ex wife is working and earning from the business, then your husband can put in a claim for child maintenance. However, if her husband is the person running the business and his wife doesn't earn directly from the business, then there is little your husband can do, as he cannot make a claim from the husband of his ex wife. If his ex wife was in receipt of a large amount of money, then unless this money is taxable it would not count as earnings. Child maintenance is taken only from the taxable earnings of the non-resident parent.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Nov-17 @ 2:34 PM
My husband has had sole care of 2 children one is now 19 the other is 14,his ex wife has refused to contribute anything towards thier keep from when she left them12 yrs ago, she has claimed she does not earn but her husband and herself have thier own business and pbviously recieve an income,she was also in receipt of a lg sum of money which is fact,how can people like this get away with this
Liz - 27-Nov-17 @ 9:04 PM
Jib - Your Question:
My son has decided to leave full time education and turns 18 in February, will I still get child maintenance from his dad? My son is currently also working 20hrs a week at present. Please help resolve this issue.

Our Response:
If your son has left full-time education and is working, then you will stop being paid child maintenance when you are no longer eligible to claim child benefit, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Nov-17 @ 11:19 AM
My son has decided to leave full time education and turns 18 in February, will I still get child maintenance from his dad? My son is currently also working 20hrs a week at present. Please help resolve this issue.
Jib - 20-Nov-17 @ 4:44 PM
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
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