Home > Related Laws > Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

Child Maintenance Payments: Your Entitlement

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 26 Jul 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 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
fidthesquid - Your Question:
My ex used to pay CSA payments but then lost his job. The payments stopped in October 2016, I assumed at the time that was because he was on benefits (I am now unsure whether I should have been receiving 7 pounds per week throughout this period, but I haven't received anything at all since October). I never asked the CSA to stop the claim and I assumed the payments would start again once he started work again. He started work early this year and said he would sort the CSA stuff out. I have just received a letter from the CSA stating that the claim would start from this week. Presumably they are treating it like a new claim, even though I have never had any communication from them that they were no longer involved and the claim had stopped. In none of the literature does it say that I have any responsibility to let them know his circumstances- that is his responsibility. However I have not received a penny since October- through a short period of my ex being paid benefits and then through an extended period since early this year when he was working. Do I have any recourse on this? My ex and I don't particularly get on well and I certainly don't know his private life, including employment history- surely the CSA should have kept up to date with work and benefits, or at least informed me that the payments would stop?

Our Response:
You would have recourse to find out via the gov.uk link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 11:39 AM
Ems- Your Question:
My bf sees his 2 kids twice a month. He's been paying 200 a month maintenance. Bit he's recently been reassessed and now he has to pay 23 extra a week so monthly 292 he only is a bus driver and doesn't earn alot. He rang and they said they've used his tax return 2015/16 well back in 2015 he earnt 24,000 a year and then starred the job he does now. He is on at least 4,000 less now. He just can't afford the extra 25% why haven't they just looked at his pay slips he's sent in? They can see he doesn't earn what he did.any help please!! At a loss.

Our Response:
Your only recourse is to complain via the gov.uk link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 11:35 AM
My ex used to pay CSA payments but then lost his job. The payments stopped in October 2016, I assumed at the time that was because he was on benefits (I am now unsure whether I should have been receiving 7 pounds per week throughout this period, but I haven't received anything at all since October). I never asked the CSA to stop the claim and I assumed the payments would start again once he started work again. He started work early this year and said he would sort the CSA stuff out. I have just received a letter from the CSA stating that the claim would start from this week. Presumably they are treating it like a new claim, even though I have never had any communication from them that they were no longer involved and the claim had stopped. In none of the literature does it say that I have any responsibility to let them know his circumstances- that is his responsibility. However I have not received a penny since October- through a short period of my ex being paid benefits and then through an extended period since early this year when he was working. Do I have any recourse on this? My ex and I don't particularly get on well and I certainly don't know his private life, including employment history- surely the CSA should have kept up to date with work and benefits, or at least informed me that the payments would stop?
fidthesquid - 26-Jul-17 @ 10:34 PM
My bf sees his 2 kids twice a month. He's been paying 200 a month maintenance. Bit he's recently been reassessed and now he has to pay 23 extra a week so monthly 292 he only is a bus driver and doesn't earn alot. He rang and they said they've used his tax return 2015/16 well back in 2015 he earnt 24,000 a year and then starred the job he does now. He is on at least 4,000 less now. He just can't afford the extra 25% why haven't they just looked at his pay slips he's sent in? They can see he doesn't earn what he did.....any help please!! At a loss....
Ems - 26-Jul-17 @ 9:42 PM
Scotsman 86 - Your Question:
I am a Grandad Guardian to my 17year old granddaughter, who has had child support cancelled because my granddaughter had not been going to college.I was not aware and cannot believe that ruling exists!! Child maintainence contacted me in June,and told me my Granddaughters money would be stopped., I asked how was I going to be able to keep her as I am a pensioner,they said they would mention it to the father, within in a week I got a recorded letter from father listing the payments I had received since last September ,when the ruling applied,and stating ,I had to pay the money back or he would take me to court!! As I was not in a position to pay the money ,I have now received the papers from the court, which I am trying to deal with. I have asked Citizens Advice for help. I thought the law says ,he is responsible for his child!!A Very AnxiousGrandad

Our Response:
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 the 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 child maintenance payments will continue until the child finishes the course or until the child turns 20. As child maintenance payments fall in line with child benefit payments, then it is unlikely you would be asked to return any child maintenance payments from before the time child benefit was officially stopped, especially if your granddaughter was registered at the college and was supposed to be attending. The child's father is responsible for the child, but only until such time as she is classed as a financially independent adult (16 if she gets a job - 18/20 if she attends college). However, the court will take your circumstances into consideration, especially if your granddaughter is under 18. In all cases where a child under 18 is involved, the court's main concern is what it thinks is in the best interests of the child. If the court feels the child should be financially supported, it will not request the child maintenance money to be returned. However, if it is deemed the child maintenance was gained fraudulently (for instance if your granddaughter signed on at college but began working and earning a wage instead and this was not reported), then her father may have a case. If it was merely a genuine oversight and you have been struggling to manage bringing her up and you were unaware she was skipping college, then it's unlikely you will be personally penalised. In fact, dependent upon the circumstances the court could order child maintenance to be continued to be paid by the father until she reaches age 18. There is no predicting what a court may decide. However, it will always consider the child's best interests first. Just because the father is taking the matter to court, it does not mean the court will rule in his favour. Much will depend upon the circumstances your end.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Jul-17 @ 3:56 PM
I am a Grandad Guardian to my 17year old granddaughter, who has had child support cancelled because my granddaughter had not been going to college.I was not aware and cannot believe that ruling exists!! Child maintainence contacted me in June,and told me my Granddaughters money would be stopped., I asked how was I going to be able to keep her as I am a pensioner,they said they would mention it to the father, within in a week I got a recorded letter from father listing the payments I had received since last September ,when the ruling applied,and stating ,I had to pay the money back or he would take me to court!! As i was not in a position to pay the money ,I have now received the papers from the court, which I am trying to deal with. I have asked Citizens Advice for help. I thought the law says ,he is responsible for his child!! A Very Anxious Grandad
Scotsman 86 - 25-Jul-17 @ 10:04 AM
Csa pure waste of time.promise this and that.never follow up on any of it.absent father gets away with everything.just say theyve got no money and thats it.what a waste of my time and effort.he has two holidays in 3 months,signs on,then off,then on,then off.plays the system,and nobody does anything.
Donut - 10-Jul-17 @ 9:30 PM
Berry227 - Your Question:
I am currently living apart from my 5month old baby's father due to relationship issues that have been caused by his mental health ( OCD) I am staying with my parents. I moved into his house before our son was born and the arrangement was that he continued to pay his mortgage and bills and I cover the food shopping, once our son was born and my stattutory maternity pay kicked in (£500 a mont) I could no longer afford to cover the food shopping (£120 per week) as well as pay my bills and pay for all the baby stuff. Things got bad due to his OCD and I left the home, we were in the middle of buying a new house but he didn't want to include me on the mortgage as I have no money to contribute. We are now trying to work things out but I feel frustrated as he still hasn't contributed financially towards our son, be brought the pram and I've covered everything else, he is a very high earner so money is not an issue but when I mention money and how much I'm struggling he just goes on about how he's having to burden the cost of moving house. Where do I stand? Should I expect him to support us financially? This is my first child and I never thought I'd find myself in this position :(

Our Response:
Every non-resident parent is responsible for supporting their child financially until their child leaves full-time education. If your child's father is refusing to pay, you can claim via CMS. Please see link, here .
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Jul-17 @ 3:03 PM
Flower - Your Question:
Hi Just wondering if there is anything you can do if you never had any payment from father yet he is on my birth certificate and my mum was married to him but he left when I was 2, my mum was to scared to put any claims against him as they divorced due to domestic violence and I am now 28 but I've always felt he should of payed his way as my poor mum struggled and he only lives down the road from me which is a heartbreak but I just want to know if I have any rights against him?thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid you have no legal recourse to claim. It would have been the responsibility of your mother to do this when you were a child.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Jul-17 @ 10:50 AM
I am currently living apart from my 5month old baby's father due to relationship issues that have been caused by his mental health ( OCD) I am staying with my parents. I moved into his house before our son was born and the arrangement was that he continued to pay his mortgage and bills and I cover the food shopping, once our son was born and my stattutory maternity pay kicked in (£500 a mont) I could no longer afford to cover the food shopping (£120 per week) as well as pay my bills and pay for all the baby stuff. Things got bad due to his OCD and I left the home, we were in the middle of buying a new house but he didn't want to include me on the mortgage as I have no money to contribute. We are now trying to work things out but I feel frustrated as he still hasn't contributed financially towards our son, be brought the pram and I've covered everything else, he is a very high earner so money is not an issue but when I mention money and how much I'm struggling he just goes on about how he's having to burden the cost of moving house. Where do I stand? Should I expect him to support us financially? This is my first child and I never thought I'd find myself in this position :(
Berry227 - 5-Jul-17 @ 2:35 PM
Hi Just wondering if there is anything you can do if you never had any payment from father yet he is on my birth certificate and my mum was married to him but he left when I was 2, my mum was to scared to put any claims against him as they divorced due to domestic violence and I am now 28 but I've always felt he should of payed his way as my poor mum struggled and he only lives down the road from me which is a heartbreak but I just want to know if I have any rights against him?thanks
Flower - 4-Jul-17 @ 2:44 PM
Amanda - Your Question:
My ex husband refuses to pay child maintenance - because I receive working tax credits and the child benefit. I have a court order, for the youngest 2 of our 3 children, stating I have custody and they go to their dad's every other weekend, Thursday after school to Monday drop off at school and shared care on holidays. My eldest is 15 and still in full time education and sticks mostly with this order by choice but doesn't go to her dad's as often. Our youngest son occasionally stays an extra night for some "man time". Is he correct is this assumption? Does he have no obligation to send support even though I cover all costs of children's needs except when with him??

Our Response:
Every non-resident parent by law is expected to help support their children financially with their day-to-day needs. The child maintenance rate is based upon the money your ex pays through HMRC in taxable income. You can see how much you should be receiving via the CMS link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Jul-17 @ 11:09 AM
My ex husband refuses to pay child maintenance - because I receive working tax credits and the child benefit. I have a court order, for the youngest 2 of our 3 children, stating I have custody and they go to their dad's every other weekend, Thursday after school to Monday drop off at school and shared care on holidays. My eldest is 15 and still in full time education and sticks mostly with this order by choice but doesn't go to her dad's as often. Our youngest son occasionally stays an extra night for some "man time". Is he correct is this assumption? Does he have no obligation to send support even though I cover all costs of children's needs except when with him??
Amanda - 3-Jul-17 @ 4:27 PM
Hi, two of my children decided to live with Dad, so rightly he stopped paying CSA payments. However, I have received a schedule of when I can have the children...and it's for a considerable amount. For example I will have them (three children) for four out of the six week summer holidays. I will also incur travel costs as they live the other end of the country. Please tell me if I can get any financial help for these weeks as I am currently on benefits and disabled? Thank you
Sorbel - 8-Jun-17 @ 1:43 PM
Hello, I currently see my daughter 3 nights a week and have agreed a sum that I pay each month. My question, is if when my daughter reaches an older age (she is 8 now) say 10-11 and wanted to stay with me full time (or more than the 3 nights), how would this work and would I have to apply to the court for sole residency? Would the court take into consideration my child's request that she wanted to stay with me full time/more than the 3 nights?
Lookingforclarity - 5-Jun-17 @ 7:49 PM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.