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Child Support Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 26 Jun 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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Clairetam1 - Your Question:
My son is 18 and has just finished sitting his A levels and plans to go to university in Sept.My ex stopped paying maintenance as my son has now finished sitting his exams. However I am still receiving child benefit for my son through to the 31st Aug so shouldn't I be receiving child maintenance until this date too. We had an agreement through a court order which my ex never stuck too and has paid the same maintenance payment amount since my son was 2 years old!!! Who is right him or me?

Our Response:
Your child's father should pay until the end of the school year which is August 31st. The cessation of child maintenance payments usually fall into line with the ending of child benefit.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jun-16 @ 2:04 PM
My son is 18 and has just finished sitting his A levels and plans to go to university in Sept. My ex stopped paying maintenance as my son has now finished sitting his exams. However I am still receiving child benefit for my son through to the 31st Aug so shouldn't I be receiving child maintenance until this date too. We had an agreement through a court order which my ex never stuck too and has paid the same maintenance payment amount since my son was 2 years old!!! Who is right him or me?
Clairetam1 - 26-Jun-16 @ 11:50 PM
My husband moved to New Zealand 4 years ago for work, he has seen his daughter for six weeks in that time.He is very generous with maintenance payments but us in financial difficulty.I could not survive on justy salary as we existed on two salaries before he left.However I have no idea what he earns, only what he pays me.I wonder whether there is a minimum amount which a completely absent father should be expected to pay as I am trying to calculate how much of a gap I have to cover financially
Mummy - 25-Jun-16 @ 9:35 PM
dee - Your Question:
My ex boyfriend doesnt pay me any money for our 2 children my daugthers 3 and my son 5months now hes wanting my son to stay over and dont want him to yet not tiill hes 1 my daugthet stays 10 nigths a month and he as her famliy allawance am I rigth to say no

Our Response:
If you feel it is in your child's best interests, you have the right to say no. If your ex has an issue with this, he can either suggest mediation or attempt to take the matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Jun-16 @ 12:46 PM
my ex boyfriend doesntpay me any money for our 2 children my daugthers 3 and my son 5months now hes wanting my son to stay over and dont want him to yet not tiill hes 1 my daugthet stays 10 nigths a month and he as her famliy allawance am i rigth to say no
dee - 16-Jun-16 @ 4:48 PM
Hi my ex has custody of my 2 children. We have had a mutual agreement for 5 years that I pay half of school uniforms and school trips but last October he said he was going to the csa for regular maintenence. When we split our solicitor letter said no maintenance was agreed due to our mutual arrangements. The csa said I don't qualify to pay any maintenance yet as I am self employed and don't as such have enough income. Things have been quiet since. Most recently my daughter asked me to pay half towards her school trip, she said her dad asked her to ask me. I refuse to do this as her father changed the arrangement but now my daughter is being told by her father why I should pay and is angry with me. I would quite happily go back to the original agreement but I refuse to do both! I also buy her clothes every month, pay for her mobile and she has a monthly amount of pocket money from me each month.
Egglette80 - 9-Jun-16 @ 7:14 PM
Asyoudo - Your Question:
Hi, my son is 15 and has decided that he no longer wants to live @ home as he doesn't like my rules, initially I agreed for him to live with his dad and pay for his school lunches so his dad wasn't out of pocket as he didn't pay maintenance originally, and tried to call his bluff but this has backfired as he wants to live there perm. His dad said leave it a couple of weeks he will be back, which is not the case as I struggle to even see him at weekends now. I have pleaded with his dad/son to do the right thing and to come home which they have both refused. Now his dad is demanding money and saying I have to pay even though he has no parental rights i.e. not on the birth certificate. Could you advise if this is the case or I should just refuse payments and enforce my son to come home.

Our Response:
This is a bit of a tricky situation now as now your son is 15 a court of law would take his opinion into account and if he is already living with his father, unless absolutely necessary the courts would be unlikely to change the arrangement. Regardless of the fact his father is not on the birth certificate, you as the non-resident parent would be eligible to pay child maintenance towards your son's day-to-day care if your ex decides to approach Child Maintenance Services. You are unlikely to force your son to come home, without making the application through court. The court would then decide what it thought was in the best interests of your son and as specified take on board your son's preference of where he wishes to live. Therefore, I can only suggest you seek legal advice to see if there is another way around trying to resolve the situation, but from this angle I cannot see one.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Jun-16 @ 2:55 PM
Hi, my son is 15 and has decided that he no longer wants to live @ home as he doesn't like my rules, initially I agreed for him to live with his dad and pay for his school lunches so his dad wasn't out of pocket as he didn't pay maintenance originally, and tried to call his bluff but this has backfired as he wants to live there perm. His dad said leave it a couple of weeks he will be back, which is not the case as I struggle to even see him at weekends now. I have pleaded with his dad/son to do the right thing and to come home which they have both refused. Now his dad is demanding money and saying I have to pay even though he has no parental rights i.e. not on the birth certificate. Could you advise if this is the case or I should just refuse payments and enforce my son to come home.
Asyoudo - 2-Jun-16 @ 10:18 AM
Superwoman- Your Question:
A little advice please myself and my partner are raising my partners children form a previous relationship due to mothers lifestyle choices. Contact is in a contact center once a month again mothers choice. Csa payments hav stopped and she is now meant to make regular payments, it's not a lot of money £20 every other week to pay for the boys travel to contact but she does not feel that she should pay as she is under the impression that the government pay for her children.! Yes from the horses mouth ( Jeremy Kyle comment??) however myself & my partner pay & raise the children, I don't mind that she wants to live her own life but I do mind that in the process she has abandoned her responsibilities to 3 beautiful children. She should be providing for the lives she brought into the world jst like a lot of men are bashed for not doin. It probably sounds like I'm more concerned about financial support rather then the emotional support but I would like to point out this has been going on for such a long time that for the first 4 years I was goin on and on and on about the lack of emotional support towards the children now we are at a point of excepting her lack of commitment however my core values expect that members of society that produce children should financially support their offspring regardless of their ability parent full time. Other then messaging/ phoning & beggin what can we do

Our Response:
You don't say whether the amount she is paying is via a family-based arrangement. If it is and your partner does not feel she is contributing enough i.e if she is working and earning a decent salary then a percentage of this should go to her supporting her children, you may wish to see how much she should be paying via the CMS calculator here. However, if she is not working and is on benefits for instance, then she would only be eligible to pay a flat rate.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-May-16 @ 2:25 PM
A little advice please myself and my partner are raising my partners children form a previous relationship due to mothers lifestyle choices. Contact is in a contact center once a month again mothers choice. Csa payments hav stopped and she is now meant to make regular payments, it's not a lot of money £20 every other week to pay for the boys travel to contact but she does not feel that she should pay as she is under the impression that the government pay for her children...! Yes from the horses mouth ( Jeremy Kyle comment??) however myself & my partner pay & raise the children, I don't mind that she wants to live her own life but I do mind that in the process she has abandoned her responsibilities to 3 beautiful children. She should be providing for the lives she brought into the world jst like a lot of men are bashed for not doin. It probably sounds like I'm more concerned about financial support rather then the emotional support but I would like to point out this has been going on for such a long time that for the first 4 years I was goin on and on and on about the lack of emotional support towards the children now we are at a point of excepting her lack of commitment however my core values expect that members of society that produce children should financially support their offspring regardless of theirability parent full time. Other then messaging/ phoning & beggin what can we do
Superwoman - 9-May-16 @ 11:32 AM
Spike - Your Question:
I currently pay my ex £155 per month through the CMS. I have our two children for about 160 nights a year, so my expenses for the children is fairly similar to that of my ex. I believe that the £155 is where my financial responsibility should end. My ex refuses to allow the children to bring clothes with them so I provide everything for them while they are here. I enjoy buying them clothes and always provide everything they need. However, it feels like I am paying twice for everything: once when they are here and then again via the maintenance. Should she be providing clothes for them while they are with me? If so, is there anything I can do to either reduce the payments or get the CMS to explain to her, her responsibilities?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, there are no rules to say who should be paying for clothes etc and this should be agreed between you. Child maintenance is solely towards your children's day-to-day care, but it does not specify what your ex should spend the money on.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-May-16 @ 12:34 PM
I currently pay my ex £155 per month through the CMS. I have our two children for about 160 nights a year, so my expenses for the children is fairly similar to that of my ex. I believe that the £155 is where my financial responsibility should end. My ex refuses to allow the children to bring clothes with them so I provide everything for them while they are here. I enjoy buying them clothes and always provide everything they need. However, it feels like I am paying twice for everything: once when they are here and then again via the maintenance. Should she be providing clothes for them while they are with me? If so, is there anything I can do to either reduce the payments or get the CMS to explain to her, her responsibilities?
Spike - 3-May-16 @ 8:28 PM
Juliachelsea - Your Question:
Hi, could anyone tell me something. My partner's son decided to move out of our home just before Christmas as he wasn't happy with our rules. He chose to leave and refused to come back. He went to stay at his aunts and she was no help at all in getting home. He is 17 and 18 in July. We made sure that his child benefit went to his aunt and we also lent him a car which he refuses to give back. We pay his mobile also. Anyway my question is this: Should we have to pay maintenance as he left of his own accord? His aunt said that at 16 he can leave home without our permission ad can claim benefit in his own right at the time. Now she we have received letters from the csa saying we have to pay. Why can't he get a part time job before he goes to university? Or claim benefits like his aunt said he could? Also both his aunt and uncle earn more than we do! Do the csa ask about their income?We didn't throw him out, it was his choice to leave. I have researched this and have conflicting answers. Some say no we shouldn't have to pay, others just we have to pay. Morally we are happy to pay some money but the csa wants us to pay £90 week which we don't have.Getting very worried now please can anyone help.

Our Response:
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support are not available to people aged under 18. However, single people may be able to get Jobseeker’s Allowance for a short amount of time if they are 'forced' to live away from their parents. With regards to the CSA, it only takes into account the paying parent's income. Also, you don't say whether he is at college or unemployed which would make a difference. If he is at college then your partner may have to pay until he finishes the course ( you don't say where the mother is, as she may be partly responsible too). It is difficult to advise on because it is an unusual situation. However, there are different ways to query or challenge a maintenance decision made by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) under the 2012 Child Maintenance Scheme, please see link here. Some professional legal advice may help too. The NASCA take on such cases, but they do charge and we can't verify how effective they are at getting results.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Apr-16 @ 11:10 AM
Hi, could anyone tell me something. My partner's son decided to move out of our home just before Christmas as he wasn't happy with our rules. He chose to leave and refused to come back. He went to stay at his aunts and she was no help at all in getting home. He is 17 and 18 in July. We made sure that his child benefit went to his aunt and we also lent him a car which he refuses to give back. We pay his mobile also. Anyway my question is this: Should we have to pay maintenance as he left of his own accord? His aunt said that at 16 he can leave home without our permission ad can claim benefit in his own right at the time. Now she we have received letters from the csa saying we have to pay. Why can't he get a part time job before he goes to university? Or claim benefits like his aunt said he could? Also both his aunt and uncle earn more than we do! Do the csa ask about their income?We didn't throw him out, it was his choice to leave. I have researched this and have conflicting answers. Some say no we shouldn't have to pay, others just we have to pay. Morally we are happy to pay some money but the csa wants us to pay £90 week which we don't have. Getting very worried now please can anyone help.
Juliachelsea - 14-Apr-16 @ 12:24 PM
Bahms - Your Question:
Hi, could you please clarify whether a nrp who is in receipt of dla/pip but is also working would pay child maintenance from his earnings or do the qualify for a nil assessment?I have rung child maintenance options and service about this and they don't really seem to know.Thanks in advance

Our Response:
I'm afraid if the CMS can't give you an answer then I'm afraid we wouldn't be able to advise. Apart from to say it depends what your total income is. You may be able to find out more via its CMS calculator here.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Apr-16 @ 11:42 AM
Hi, could you please clarify whether a nrp who is in receipt of dla/pip but is also working would pay child maintenance from his earnings or do the qualify for a nil assessment? I have rung child maintenance options and service about this and they don't really seem to know. Thanks in advance
Bahms - 11-Apr-16 @ 12:43 PM
My daughter goes to her dads once a week and he pays not a penny for her am I entitled to anything he saying I won't get anything cause he has her once a week n his Mam has her for 6 hours is this true ?
Deedee - 26-Mar-16 @ 9:23 AM
hy. my child z 4 yrs and next yr shes going to gradeR and I wnt her to study in modelc skul. I feel tht the amount payable for hr z little can I apply or claim a rise from R400 to atleast 800 pr month?
bongie - 14-Mar-16 @ 10:10 AM
I have 2 sons by different mothers. I have a direct pay agreement with 1 but the other mother has refused all attempts and has invoked CMS. CMS are insisting that I provide personal contact details for the co-operative mother or they will insist I pay the whole calculated amount to the un-co-operative mother Historically, each contact with CMS / CSA has involved mistakes and caused friction between parents which in turn causes detriment to the children. CMS are bullying me into sharing personal data and acting as a vehicle of the uncooperative mother to disrupt the agreement I already have in place with the co-operative mum. If they accept I have a second son and that mother has NOT contacted them , why do they need to cause distress and disruption by involving the co-operative mum in the uncooperative mother's case ?
Just-trying-to-be-a- - 12-Mar-16 @ 10:56 AM
What can I do if the CMS have collected two months payments from the absent parent via deductions of earnings then passed them on to another parent with care in error. They are now telling me there is nothing I can do and my two children have to go without as they cannot get the money back even though it is no fault of mine. I have no money now and my bank are charging me. The CMS do not care
Mummy - 7-Mar-16 @ 8:14 PM
Hi, my ex works full time, my son is living with my mum temporary on a family based agreement I still receive child tax for him and do his day to day care every day he just sleeps in my mums home until I find a bigger home, would I still be entitled to claim from my ex
Riley - 28-Feb-16 @ 7:50 PM
Hi folks I receive a war disablement pension , so once I put this into the csa calculated it comes back as 0 to pay for one child , however I sent a copy to the csa they replied I should pay £225 a month because I have a full time job , I honed child options agency and they told me that I should not pay anything , The child is my son so I exspect to pay something but surely with a disability pension it seems very high Any advise would be most welcome Kind regards Paul Browne
Oaul - 25-Feb-16 @ 6:05 PM
Jo - Your Question:
My daughter turned 16 last week, the nrp owes about £6000 , he's currently on benefits so I only receive £2.50 a week no arrears ,I know I can't do anything to recover the money owed but can my daughter take him to court ? Also would she receive legal aid ?

Our Response:
I'm afraid your daughter could not take him to court as child maintenance is awarded to the resident parent, not the child. If your ex is on benefits, then there is little hope that the money could be retreived through the courts if you decided to pursue it, as child maintenance is based on the non-resident parent's earnings.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Feb-16 @ 10:32 AM
My daughter turned 16 last week, the nrp owes about £6000 ,he's currently on benefits so I only receive £2.50 a week no arrears , I know I can't do anything to recover the money owed but can my daughter take him to court ?Also would she receive legal aid ?
Jo - 9-Feb-16 @ 3:37 PM
kell - Your Question:
I've been split from my partner years and never once paid for his 2 children he has them for a couple of weeks in the holidays and we're he can and says that's his payment cos he has to buy extra food he has always been on benefits. he has a wife and 2 children and his wife is now working but he's not would I still be entitled to anything seen as tho he's still not working

Our Response:
As specified in the article a flat rate is generally awarded to the parent who is claiming certain benefits. This is £5 per week no matter how many children are involved. It’s used if the paying parent’s weekly income is between £5 and £100 and they don’t qualify for the nil rate - please see gov.uk link here for further information.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Feb-16 @ 2:55 PM
I've been split from my partner years and never once paid for his 2 children he has them for a couple of weeks in the holidays and we're he can and says that's his payment cos he has to buy extra food hehas always been on benefits... he has a wife and 2 children and his wife is now working but he's not would I still be entitled to anything seen as tho he's still not working
kell - 4-Feb-16 @ 9:45 AM
Hi Can you please advise what the payments should be used for by the residing parent ??
Sophie - 1-Feb-16 @ 12:44 PM
My ex wife takes CSA payments but refuses to grant me any parental responsibility such as which school my child will goto or if he is taken abroad on holiday or what name he uses at school (she is using her boyfriends last name) My question is why should i have to pay CSA when my ex refuses my rights of parental responsibility?
Dela - 29-Jan-16 @ 4:54 PM
Some background info...my daughter is almost 9 month old and has never met her father. He didn't turn up to register her birth. I initiated a claim in November 2015. I received a letter this month from CMS stating that they'd worked out the weekly amount (which after deductions was £6.70) apparently, my daughters father was earning less than £40 per week (...he is a self employed lorry driver working for two haulage companies and his earnings go through his fictitious company)...I haven't received a penny to date! On chasing up the claim, the money already owing (albeit £57) is now floating around in Limboland, as my daughters father has now suddenly decided to claim benefits!?! Is there anything else I can do, other than informing the relevant authorities (HRMC and the benefit fraud line) as he has played the system for many years and is continuing to do so! Thank you in advance for any advice/help.
AylaG - 23-Jan-16 @ 2:23 PM
JP - Your Question:
I have joint custody of our son and he now spends exactly 50% of his time with me. I am paying £250 a month to his mum. Is there anyway to change either your status as the non-resident parent or have the maintenance removed completely due to this 50/50 split?His mum owns two houses and earns at least double what I earn, whilst I rent, so it seems completely unfair and stupid to me as she contributes nothing to his keep whilst he is here.Thanks

Our Response:
If you are in a family-based arrangement, then what you pay is negotiated between you. However, if your circumstances have changed and you pay via the CSA/CMS, then you need to take it up with the agency directly. If you think you are being treated unfairly, you can complain via the link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Jan-16 @ 1:43 PM
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