Home > Related Laws > Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 12 Sep 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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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
Meljon01- Your Question:
I was wondering my daughter is now 28 and I have never received a penny from her astranged father I also had my sisters children living with me by order of the Courts as she passed away and never received anything from their astranged fathers, one is now 25 the other 20 can I claim from them now ??? only the 20 yr old stayed at her dads 1 night a week every other week but only for a yr if that as he got married and decided he didn’t want to see her again she was 3yrs old, I have been told that I can make a claim but need it clarified thank you in advance.

Our Response:
You cannot apply for retrospective child maintenance. You can only claim for child maintenance from the time you first registered your claim. If you never registered one - then you cannot register a claim now.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-May-18 @ 3:50 PM
I was wondering my daughter is now 28 and I have never received a penny from her astranged father I also had my sisters children living with me by order of the Courts as she passed away and never received anything from their astranged fathers, one is now 25 the other 20 can I claim from them now ???only the 20 yr old stayed at her dads 1 night a week every other week but only for a yr if that as he got married and decided he didn’t want to see her again she was 3yrs old, I have been told that I can make a claim but need it clarified thank you in advance .
Meljon01 - 11-May-18 @ 8:25 AM
Anton - Your Question:
My ex wife initiated a claim, over 3 years ago, stating she received no mo eye for outlet child and that I was an absent parent.An assesment was made and first 2 months salary completed wiped out, so began a process of proving my child stayed 125 nights a year, she had been receiving money (I mistakenly gave her cash first 3 months).Once evidence was provided, payments reduced, nothing happened to my ex wife for all of her fraudulent claims.Well it began again 3 years later, just after receiving a car with her thanks and assurance no maintenance was needed.I am regularly told to STOP buying my daughter things.Well yet again the new claim as the agency call it requires proof I see the child, they have been told I don’t!Even though they have the child court order on their records.I am now being told I will need a solicitor letter stating I am seeing my daughter, I have been off work for 3 years after a bad accident at work.Receiving invalid payments. This all ignored by the agency instead stating that my last income 2015/2016 is the basis for the assesment when I was earning good money.They have now ignored everything said, frozen a savings account, causing normal account to go overdrawn incurring fees.I wish to take formal action against my ex for the second chain of lies/perjury to these, with the sole intention of causing me as much trouble as possible.This after sending messages saying she wants peace and harmony for our child.Whilst I am in the courts accused of abusing our daughter.Domestic violenceAbsolutely everything she says, it’s treated as fact.The stress is overpowering and effecting all aspects of my life.What can I doDoes anyone have any advice, and not bitter exes saying get your own back etc.I mean a legal action both with Child maintenanceAnd the perjury committed in courtsI have all the proof showing this.I don’t have funds for legal advice I am self representing at the final hearing in June.The agency have clearly informed me that they have been told by my ex that I am not seeing the child.Can I request they provide that in writing then contact the police.Non of this is ideal but the onlyMeasure I believe willMake it clear is if she is held accountable for her actions.Like anyone should be

Our Response:
Your comment is very confusing and it seems you are confusing child maintenance with child access and unauthorised money given to your ex and daughter as child maintenance. Unless you can prove your ex made fraudulent claims, then there is little you can do. If you paid child maintenance in cash, then you cannot prove you paid, so there is little you can do. If you gave your ex a car does not mean CMS will stop asking for payments once a claim has been registered. CMS always assess on a retrospective income, so that they can assess payments fully from a year previously. It seems that you are attempting to fight a system that has a strict code of how child maintenance is paid and who pays it. You can see how child maintenance is worked out, please see link here, which is straightforward. With regards to your court case, the court is not interested in which parent is to blame. The court is only interested in the welfare of your child and will act only upon what is in her best interests. You may wish to join the Separated Dads forum if you need more advice, as many of our dads have been through similar circumstances.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Apr-18 @ 2:29 PM
Sam - Your Question:
My boyfriend see’s his daughter at a contact centre for 2 hours a fornight, the child doesn’t live with her mother but instead with her grandmother. My boyfriend always asks to have the child at home or for more than just 2 hours, but the grandmother refuses, so we are going through the legal route. He is being made to pay £200 a month although he only makes £445 a month meaning they have told child maintenance that he earns much more. Is there anything he can do to either hurry up the court process or make child maintenance take a step back and see he shouldn’t be paying £200 to see her for 2 hours every 2 weeks.

Our Response:
Both child access and child maintenance are two completely different issues and are not dependent upon each other. Child maintenance by law has to be paid to the resident parent or guardian to help support their child's day-to-day needs whether the non-resident parent sees the child or not. Child maintenance is also calculated on the amount your boyfriend earns in income and pays in tax. These figures are given to CMS via HMRC to assess, not via the child's parents/guardian. As a rule, paying-parents usually pay 12% of their gross earnings, unless they are subjected to arrears when CMS can take up to 40%.If your boyfriend wishes to see his daughter more and the child's official guardian refuses, then court is the only route he can take. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. If your boyfriend refuses to pay child maintenance, he will be subjected to arrears.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Apr-18 @ 11:41 AM
My ex wife initiated a claim, over 3 years ago, stating she received no mo eye for outlet child and that I was an absent parent. An assesment was made and first 2 months salary completed wiped out, so began a process of proving my child stayed 125 nights a year, she had been receiving money (I mistakenly gave her cash first 3 months). Once evidence was provided, payments reduced, nothing happened to my ex wife for all of her fraudulent claims. Well it began again 3 years later, just after receiving a car with her thanks and assurance no maintenance was needed. I am regularly told to STOP buying my daughter things. Well yet again the new claim as the agency call it requires proof I see the child, they have been told I don’t! Even though they have the child court order on their records. I am now being told I will need a solicitor letter stating I am seeing my daughter, I have been off work for 3 years after a bad accident at work. Receiving invalid payments. This all ignored by the agency instead stating that my last income 2015/2016 is the basis for the assesment when I was earning good money. They have now ignored everything said, frozen a savings account, causing normal account to go overdrawn incurring fees. I wish to take formal action against my ex for the second chain of lies/perjury to these, with the sole intention of causing me as much trouble as possible. This after sending messages saying she wants peace and harmony for our child. Whilst i am in the courts accused of abusing our daughter. Domestic violence Absolutely everything she says, it’s treated as fact. The stress is overpowering and effecting all aspects of my life. What can I do Does anyone have any advice, and not bitter exes saying get your own back etc. I mean a legal action both with Child maintenance And the perjury committed in courts I have all the proof showing this. I don’t have funds for legal advice I am self representing at the final hearing in June. The agency have clearly informed me that they have been told by my ex that I am not seeing the child. Can I request they provide that in writing then contact the police. Non of this is ideal but the only Measure I believe will Make it clear is if she is held accountable for her actions. Like anyone should be
Anton - 11-Apr-18 @ 8:08 PM
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