Home > Related Laws > Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 27 Sep 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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My ex is living with his partner and there 2 children, i have a son with my ex who i claim maintenance for, so i get less money my ex's partner claims maintenance for her 2 children with my ex from her parents address even tho she lives with my ex is this allowed?
tidy - 27-Sep-16 @ 1:21 PM
Ikceb - Your Question:
I have proof that my ex partner is currently receiving a regular wage for different sources of work, he is currently only paying the minimum payment as he has told cms that he is on benefits. What should I do?

Our Response:
If this wage is going through HMRC, then the CMS will be aware of this. If you can prove where he is working, then you can contact the CMS with this information. However, if his is not declaring these wages and is working illegally, then there is little you can do unless you can prove he is earning.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Sep-16 @ 11:08 AM
I have proof that my ex partner is currently receiving a regular wage for different sources of work, he is currently only paying the minimum payment as he has told cms that he is on benefits. What should I do?
Ikceb - 26-Sep-16 @ 12:25 PM
Single mum. - Your Question:
Hi. Am a single mum of 3. My eldest has a different dad to my other 2s dad. 1st question she's now 18. And he never paid a thing. Does he have to pay any maintenance from back pay which he has never paid a thing on her 18 yrs. Or does he not have too. 2nd question,. My 2 little kids dad and I split in 2010. When they were 1+2. I'm wondering does he have to pay csa towards them. I don't get a penny from him. He used to see them once a week on a Saturday for a few hours.but he has to have supervised contact which his mum does. But my kids at the min don't want to be up there as they wud rather play with friends.as they never get very much when they went to there dads house. Even if my kids don't go does he have to pay csa for them.or any back pay for the last 5/6 yrs. Iv never looked a penny of them. I struggle here and there. But my kids will get even I do without. There my pride and joy. Wudn change them for the world. X

Our Response:
Unless you have officially attempted to claim child maintenance from either of the fathers previously , then you would not be eligible to claim back pay. For your eldest, yes you would be allowed to claim currently if your child was still in full-time government approved education up to A-Level and studying for more than 12 hours per week. With regards to your youngest two, you can still claim child maintenance regardless of whether the father sees them or not (child access and maintenance are not related). You can see how much they might have to pay via the link here. However, in order for your claim to make a financial difference to you, both of your ex's need to be earning and paying tax and NI, as otherwise you would be entitled only to an award of a flat rate or nil amount.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-Sep-16 @ 11:02 AM
Roni- Your Question:
My ex is on the sick. But I know he still works for cash. He lives with his daughter so no house. I beg him to have 3 children once a week and it's a struggle. He does every now and then. I've had around £200 in the last 9 months from him. What can I do. I'm broke and really struggle. I can't work as I have no one to have the children ages 6, 2 and 1

Our Response:
I'm afraid if your ex is not working legally it is very difficult for the CMS to prove, because it is not registered with the HMRC and of course as soon as it was proven your ex may be liable for prosecution, thus defeating the object of trying to claim money. If your ex is on full-pay while on the sick, then you may be able to claim. However, if he is on SSP, then again this may be difficult due to the reduced rate of his earnings. I can only suggest you seek some advice - the Citizens Advice may be able to help.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Sep-16 @ 11:05 AM
Hi. Am a single mum of 3. My eldest has a different dad to my other 2s dad. 1st question she's now 18. And he never paid a thing. Does he have to pay any maintenance from back pay which he has never paid a thing on her 18 yrs.Or does he not have too. 2nd question,. My 2 little kids dad and I split in 2010. When they were 1+2. I'm wondering does he have to pay csa towards them. I don't get a penny from him. He used to see them once a week on a Saturday for a few hours. .but he has to have supervised contact which his mum does.But my kids at the min don't want to be up there as they wud rather play with friends.as they never get very much when they went to there dads house. Even if my kids don't godoes he have to pay csa for them.or any back pay for the last 5/6 yrs. . Iv never looked a penny of them. I struggle here and there. But my kids will get even I do without. There my pride and joy. Wudn change them for the world. X
Single mum. - 22-Sep-16 @ 10:45 AM
Deb - Your Question:
My daughter turned 18 and is in college which I am struggling to help support her with it on my own am I entitled to help from her father?

Our Response:
Yes, every non-resident parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what your child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education, not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then you can claim child maintenance payments from your ex until your child finishes the course or until they turn 20 (whichever comes first).
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Sep-16 @ 3:00 PM
My ex is on the sick. But I know he still works for cash. He lives with his daughter so no house.I beg him to have 3 children once a week and it's a struggle. He does every now and then. I've had around £200 in the last 9 months from him.What can I do. I'm broke and really struggle. I can't work as I have no one to have the children ages 6, 2 and 1
Roni - 21-Sep-16 @ 9:30 AM
My daughter turned 18 and is in college which i am struggling to help support her with it on my own am i entitled to help from her father?
Deb - 21-Sep-16 @ 1:26 AM
Parky - Your Question:
I've been told I've got to have £40 a week took from my wage off £171 for 3children 1of whome works full time and her mother does not claim child benefit also I live with my partner who has 3 children all under the age of 14 and our 17 month old child what should Csa be takeing per week pls help I'm getting stressed

Our Response:
You can find out via the CMS calculator here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Sep-16 @ 1:48 PM
I've been told I've got to have £40 a week took from my wage off £171 for 3children 1of whome works full time and her mother does not claim child benefit also I live with my partner who has 3 children all under the age of 14 and our 17 month old child what should Csa be takeing per week pls help I'm getting stressed
Parky - 19-Sep-16 @ 5:46 PM
robert - Your Question:
Im living in the uk and given birth to my daughter.after few months my husband plan to take my daughter to Nepal to stay with her sister. Now his sister wants to have my daughter as shes doing everything for her.We already attend a court to try to get my daughter back but I dont know what else to do next.do I have to stop my daughter child benefit n child credit as shes not with us now.??? any help will be appreciated.thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid if you have already attended court there is little we can do to advise further on this, as we can only give general/rudimentary guidance. I hope you manage to resolve this situation through further legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Sep-16 @ 2:59 PM
im living in the uk and given birth to my daughter ...after few months my husband plan to take my daughter to Nepal to stay with her sister . Now his sister wants to have my daughter as shes doing everything for her .We already attend a court to try to get my daughter back but i dont know what else to do next ..do i have to stop my daughter child benefit n child credit as shes not with us now ..??? any help will be appreciated..thanks
robert - 17-Sep-16 @ 10:56 PM
My partner had 2 children with his ex, his son is now living with us and his daughter with his ex. Surely nobody has to pay maintenance?
Soph - 17-Sep-16 @ 10:46 PM
Step - Your Question:
My husband as just found out he is a father to a child of 14 that he knew nothing about til 3 weeks ago. My question is will he have back pay to pay for the last 14 years. Paying maintance from now isn't a problem.

Our Response:
No. Unless the mother of his child put in a maintenance claim years ago and he has ignored it, then he will not have to pay. If the mother has never previously put in a claim, then he can start paying from now.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Sep-16 @ 11:15 AM
My husband as just found out he is a father to a child of 14 that he knew nothing about til 3 weeks ago . My question is will he have back pay to pay for the last 14 years . Paying maintance from now isn't a problem .
Step - 8-Sep-16 @ 2:14 PM
Hi, my partner works on an oil rig and does a 4weeks on 4 weeks off rota all year round, he has a two year old son and when home has 50/50 care. He pays regular maintenance every week but his ex keeps saying she wants more and more and keep putting it up, she has now said she wants £140 a week for the one child. My partner pays for all his sons clothes food nappies etc when he has him which is usually 3-4 nights a week when he's home. He is constantly being threatened with Csa as they have a private maintenance payment set up. What percentage of his wage should he pay? And should he pay anything for the four weeks he is home because he has 50/50 care. Thanks
Natalie - 1-Sep-16 @ 5:58 PM
Ellie123 - Your Question:
My partner and I are separated and have decided to have the kids 50/50 which I think is great for the kids to have us both in their lives. We are splitting everything 50/50 which mean I was not going to be claiming for CSA but I am just curious that, as he is earning a lot more money than I am, even though we are going 50/50, can I claim? So that the living arrangements are consistant between the two homes? Thanks

Our Response:
In theory if you have an equal shared care arrangement, then essentially neither one parent is allowed to claim from the other. However, as with everything there are muddied lines. I can only suggest you give CMS a call to work out whether you are eligible to claim.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Aug-16 @ 12:45 PM
My partner and I are separated and have decided to have the kids 50/50 which I think is great for the kids to have us both in their lives. We are splitting everything 50/50 which mean I was not going to be claiming for CSA but I am just curious that, as he is earning a lot more money than I am, even though we are going 50/50, can I claim? So that the living arrangements are consistant between the two homes? Thanks
Ellie123 - 29-Aug-16 @ 8:35 PM
Hi am wondering if any one could help my ex husband stop paying child support 2 years ago but we are dueback at court this week so has given the children 100 between the 3 of them to the grandparents to go out for the day saying it's csa but I've told grandparents csa can only be paid to the resident parent which is me so that money is a gift am I correct
jue - 26-Aug-16 @ 10:25 PM
Emsie - Your Question:
My daughter has not seen her biological father since a baby and is now 17, all of a sudden he is interested and is making contact with her. He has never paid a penny towards her upbringing or supported when she was really ill and challenging as a child. Am I able to claim anything now he has suddenly decided to show an interest or as she is 17 is it to late and he has gotten away with being seen as the good guy? I have never stopped access it was his doing, also she has known all alone about him and has her own photo album of him and his family which I made her.Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Our Response:
If you have never previously made a claim through the CSA/CMS in the past then you can not make a claim now or receive retrospective back pay.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Aug-16 @ 11:45 AM
If my 16 year old son claims PIP do I still have to pay child maintenance to his mum. The reason I'm asking is because I would rather give him money than his mum because it doesn't get spent on him. Just want to make sure I'm still being legally abiding we have an agreement between ourselves.
Mark - 24-Aug-16 @ 11:05 PM
My daughter has not seen her biological father since a baby and is now 17, all of a sudden he is interested and is making contact with her. He has never paid a penny towards her upbringing or supported when she was really ill and challenging as a child. Am I able to claim anything now he has suddenly decided to show an interest or as she is 17 is it to late and he has gotten away with being seen as the good guy? I have never stopped access it was his doing, also she has known all alone about him and has her own photo album of him and his family which I made her. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Emsie - 24-Aug-16 @ 6:39 PM
I have 3 sons all in receipt of dla, who I have 2 nights a week every week, and a minimum of 2 whole weeks at varying points in the year, obviously these children have extra costs associated with their care hence the dla however the extra costs to me doesn't seem to have been taken into account when my maintenance Liability has been calculate even though when all is said and done I am responsible for roughly a 3rd of their care over the year I feed them and clothe them take them to school which is quite a distance away and involves numerous buses this doesn't seem particularly fair is there anything I can do?
Gpaul1978 - 10-Aug-16 @ 9:42 PM
My friend has 3 year old girl who's biological father disowned shortly after birth. He was physically violent and is Iranian. He's told his family his ex and daughter are dead and has disappeared. She is now mum to another daughter to her fiance of 2 years who child thinks of as dad. Fiance is Dutch and he wants to adopt, but at least he wants parental responsibility. And maybe they want to relocate to Holland. Can he adopt as father disappeared and violent? Can child take his name? Can they live in Holland?
Chelle - 9-Aug-16 @ 9:51 PM
DaddyG - Your Question:
Hi,I've being paying child maintenance for 2 years, my Ex has recently moved back in to her Mothers houses, our son spends three nights a week at my house, am I still required to pay maintenance?Thanks for your advice

Our Response:
You don't say whether you have a family-based arrangement or a CMS organised one. You are still required to pay maintenance - you can calculate how much you should be paying via the CMS calculator here.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Aug-16 @ 10:26 AM
Shona - Your Question:
Hi. I recieve a monthly amount from my 2 children's dad through mutual agreement not csa and he is asking for half of that back this month due to him having them for 2 weeks in the holidays. It will be me having to still pay for all their new uniforms and shoes etc with no extra help from dad but he says I'm unfair if I don'tAm I?

Our Response:
If CMS was calculating the amount it would average the amount over the year, so there would be no break in payments. However, as you have a family-based arrangement it is negotiable between you. I hope you manage to sort it out.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Aug-16 @ 10:23 AM
Hi, I've being paying child maintenance for 2 years, my Ex has recently moved back in to her Mothers houses, our son spends three nights a week at my house, am I still required to pay maintenance? Thanks for your advice
DaddyG - 4-Aug-16 @ 9:50 AM
Hi. I recieve a monthly amount from my 2 children's dad through mutual agreement not csa and he is asking for half of that back this month due to him having them for 2 weeks in the holidays.. It will be me having to still pay for all their new uniforms and shoes etc with no extra help from dad but he says I'm unfair if I don't Am I?
Shona - 4-Aug-16 @ 9:12 AM
Mummy L - Your Question:
I have recently separated from my husband and we have two children. He will see them every other weekend and the odd week here and there in the school holidays. Does he still have to pay child support even when the children are staying with him on the off occasion?

Our Response:
Yes, as a rule child support if calculated by the CMS is based on an annual average spread across the year and takes into consideration the overnight stays, please see CMS link here for more information. However, if you have a family-based arrangement, then it is up to you as parents to negotiate between you and no specific rules apply.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Aug-16 @ 10:28 AM
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