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How Child Support Assessment and Calculation Works

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 9 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Maintenance Child

When a resident parent (also known as a parent with care) makes a claim for maintenance from a non resident parent an administrative assessment is made by the Child Support Agency, on the parent’s behalf. This assessment follows a legislative formula and collates information about income and circumstances which is then used to calculate the amount of maintenance that is payable.

How It Works

A claim for child support can be made over the phone or by completing an Application for Child Support assessment form, which must be sent to the Child Support Agency (CSA). Each claim is unique and assessment takes into consideration personal circumstances. Detailed information relating to parental income must be carefully assessed before a calculation, of how much maintenance is payable, can be made. In some cases – if the CSA has to trace a non resident parent – this may take considerable time.

Calculation

The child support assessment formula calculates payable maintenance by assessing the cost of raising the child, considering the income and circumstances of both parents and the level of care and support each parent is able, and willing, to give the child. Calculation is made using the weekly net-income of the non resident parent. This can be a basic rate or percentage.

Children from first and subsequent families are treated in exactly the same way, and a self-support amount is also deducted from each parent’s income before assessment is finalised.

There is a basic assessment formula available for parents who require one child support assessment. Parents with other dependent children, or two or more child support assessments must provide additional information in order to process the child support maintenance claim. The same applies for another family member or legal guardian who may live with the child but is not the child’s parent.

Parentage

To make a legal claim for child support maintenance there are a number of basic requirements that must be checked. The CSA will require proof that the parents were married when the child was born, the non resident parent is named on the child’s birth certificate as a parent and a statutory declaration is made by a person stating they are the child’s parent.

For a male parent they will also have to prove that they were living with the mother between 20 and 44 weeks before the birth of their child. In the case of an adopted child evidence of adoption by the parent must be presented.

The CSA And Employers

The CSA can enforce maintenance deductions directly from a parent’s salary. An employer is able to make deductions for child support from an employee’s income. The law imposes penalties for employer obligations that are not met, and these include not keeping appropriate records of the deducted child support and respecting the employee’s privacy.

If a non resident parent is not happy with deductions being taken directly from their income employers can discuss the deductions with the CSA. However, employers are obliged by law to make child support maintenance deductions if the CSA has requested that they do.

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I'm struggling to reconcile the use of 'net' income in this article as the basis for calculation when the .Gov tool suggests a gross figure less pension and other child maintenance payments only? The Child Maintenance & Other Payments Act 2008 revised the 1991 act to remove 'net' for 'gross'. Can you advise which figure I use for calculation please? Is UK Income Tax and NI deducted as well as pension and other child maintenance?
GH13 - 9-Sep-20 @ 3:45 PM
My ex husband hasn’t paid regularly for years and avoided paying what he should because of creative accounting and dividends as not on paye. The last three months he’s paid nothing,not through hardship but new motorbikes etc. I’m now in need of regular payment due to redundancy and school fees to meet. How do I approach it?Can I ask for reassessment as I believe he is now paye?
Emerald - 25-Aug-20 @ 3:58 PM
Hi I have 1 son , and getting benefits. The father of my son we’re unmarried and he is not supportive person because he is on low income . His name is on my son’s BC . I want him to stop seeing my son as he is non sense. I’m afraid it might he will hit me. Pls I need some help! Thank you
Dang - 16-Nov-19 @ 2:26 PM
I split up with my wife 4 month ago I left the house and left her everything. Since then I've got myself another house which is rented. I see my children alot more than my wife in the last month she as had them overnight 8 times. I pay for school meals clothes I've just got off holiday with them which was abroad and cost alot of money. I love my kids and I've been paying my ex 50 pound per week I don't no why I have them all the time. Also she claims for childcare and all the tax credits the lot I don't ask for anything off her I just want to spend time we me kids. My problem is now she wants more money and for me to start paying for childcare aswell. Am self employed so when I don't work i don't get payed so i missed the week after i got back off holiday because i told her if i don't get payed neither do you which i think is right. My ex now wants to go through CSA will that mess up all what shes claiming I don't want this to mess up the kids
Masso1234 - 9-Jun-19 @ 8:01 PM
Hi we pay £500 a month( awful 25% rule) for my husbands dauhter. She was due to go to uni this month but has changed her mind as if she doesn’t go she states she will still get the maintenance and she can save this . She has decided to do extra A levels for 12 hours at school, she also works full time now. She is 18 (19 in jan ) Are we still liable to pay the maintenance? Can’t discuss with her as she does not see or speak to my husband.Thanks
SEM - 8-Oct-18 @ 9:10 AM
Lauren - Your Question:
I have 2 children from a dissolved marriage, the man is unreasonable to say the least. He used to pay £30 per week (yes, that's it) but that's all I could get from him and I was 'happy' with that. I have not received a penny from him in almost two years, he stopped my maintenance to pay for our daughter's school trip to New York because I said I couldn't afford it and left me in financial difficulty. Our children are 13 and 16, he lost his job and his girlfriend in the same week and has moved back in with his Mum (42 years old). He starts a new job next week and I know he has a savings account in my daughter's name. He is not on any electoral role and currently registered with the DVLA as a driver on a DR10 ban (number 2 in 5 years.), I have no idea where he will start work, what his UTR or National Insurance Number is - what chances do I stand of getting anything from him? Truth is, I wouldn't be complaining if I was getting something but the fact he thinks he can get away with paying nothing is a little infuriating as he doesn't contribute to uniforms, clothes etc. and is worried the money wouldn't get used on them - how does housing, feeding and clothing them not count!? Thank you in anticipation!

Our Response:
If you were unhappy with the family-based arrangement you could have, or could still apply to CSA/CMS. If your children's father was on a low income or had no work, then he would have been calculated to pay a low rate or nil-rate, in which case he has not acted outside the law. Child maintenance payments are calculated on earnings not savings. If he is starting a new job, then HMRC will work with CMS to calculate how much he should pay, or you can set up a family-based arrangement where you can agree between yourselves.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Aug-18 @ 10:06 AM
I have 2 children from a dissolved marriage, the man is unreasonable to say the least. He used to pay £30 per week (yes, that's it) but that's all I could get from him and I was 'happy' with that.I have not received a penny from him in almost two years, he stopped my maintenance to pay for our daughter's school trip to New York because I said I couldn't afford it and left me in financial difficulty. Our children are 13 and 16, he lost his job and his girlfriend in the same week and has moved back in with his Mum (42 years old). He starts a new job next week and I know he has a savings account in my daughter's name. He is not on any electoral role and currently registered with the DVLA as a driver on a DR10 ban (number 2 in 5 years...), I have no idea where he will start work, what his UTR or National Insurance Number is - what chances do I stand of getting anything from him? Truth is, I wouldn't be complaining if I was getting something but the fact he thinks he can get away with paying nothing is a little infuriating as he doesn't contribute to uniforms, clothes etc. and is worried the money wouldn't get used on them - how does housing, feeding and clothing them not count!? Thank you in anticipation!
Lauren - 8-Aug-18 @ 12:41 PM
m single parent for my baby . i apply for divoce with ky husband its going on from ladt 7 months m doing everything for my baby . he is even not paying me anything for baby support . my visa still in process . as i apply for human rights .. can i apply for benifit . my son is18 months old . m facing so much difficulties ..
deep - 15-Jul-18 @ 3:45 PM
Maggie berridge - Your Question:
How con I get full custody of my 3 kids me and they dad to to gefe no more and he Kik me and my 3kids out and move his new girlfriend in the house we was living in I had to move to Leeds because of it all and he don't ring the kids at all and he not come up to Leeds to see then at all.

Our Response:
If your ex is not in contact and if your kids live with you, then you already have 'full custody'.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jun-18 @ 3:02 PM
How con I get full custody of my 3 kids me and they dad to to gefe no more and he Kik me and my 3kids out and move his new girlfriend in the house we was living in I had to move to Leedsbecause of it all and he don't ring the kids at all and he not come up to Leeds to see then at all.
Maggie berridge - 9-Jun-18 @ 10:39 PM
Nan - Your Question:
I live in Thailand with my daughter, I am a Thai national. My child's father is English, my Daughter is 7 years old and he has never paid child support. His full name is listed on my daughters birth certificate as the father. Am I able to collect child support payments through the Brittish child support agency?Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to seek advice in yoru own country. The UK has The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally. However, this is for UK resident-parents where the paying parent lives abroad. You would have to check whether your own child support agency offers a similar service.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Apr-18 @ 11:34 AM
I live in Thailand with my daughter, I am a Thai national. My child's father is English, my Daughter is 7 years old and he has never paid child support. His full name is listed on my daughters birth certificate as the father. Am I able to collect child support payments through the Brittish child support agency? Thanks
Nan - 29-Apr-18 @ 2:16 PM
Sam - Your Question:
I received a court order from Mexico via REMO. It says its for child maintenance arrears. The mother has written down a huge list of over exaggerated expenses which are not true and not for the child. She has not provided any evidence or receipts for these expenses either. Will the court take her invented list into account, or write it off as there is no proof of spending this money. I have not been working or paying tax in the UK for over 10 years so will my child maintenance payment be automatically set to 0? Will any arrears be worked out from my income or from the invented list sent from Mexico?

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether there was an order in place originally for you to pay child maintenance, in which case, dependent upon your circumstances, you may be subjected to arrears. However, if you are not earning, then it is unlikley you will have to pay ongoing child maintenance as it is set via the HMRC to your taxable income. Although, you may wish to take some additional advice on this as we do not know the wider workings of Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders, and it will be up to the courts in the relevant country to consider your application and decide if any maintenance decision should be enforced.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Apr-17 @ 11:36 AM
I received a court order from Mexico via REMO.It says its for child maintenance arrears.The mother has written down a huge list of over exaggerated expenses which are not true and not for the child.She has not provided any evidence or receipts for these expenses either.Will the court take her invented list into account, or write it off as there is no proof of spending this money.I have not been working or paying tax in the UK for over 10 years so will my child maintenance payment be automatically set to 0?Will any arrears be worked out from my income or from the invented list sent from Mexico?
Sam - 11-Apr-17 @ 4:34 PM
I have been separated from my ex husband for almost 6 years now and he has never paid anything towards looking after them, not a penny. He works as a removal man and gets paid in cash so there is no record of his earnings. He is also renovating houses, using the money from the sale of our family home and money from his Mum. I've asked him to contribute financially but he always says he can't afford to pay anything. Would the CMS be able to follow him to prove that he is working and also find out if he is claiming any benefits?
milliemoo - 10-Feb-17 @ 1:55 PM
My ex-wife is making demands that I feel are unreasonable for me to meet. I currently have them every other weekend and usually one night a week depending on needs. I work full time, and rent a room as I cannot afford to rent a whole flat myself. My ex-wife wants me to have the kids every weekend and for half of their holidays from school, paying for childcare if I cannot get the holiday from work. This seems unreasonable for me to have no time without them and to pay childcare costs when she is the primary parent and I am paying her support money and she only works part time on a flexible basis so can do it mostly while the kids are at school. (Sorry for the long post)
ABC123 - 3-Dec-16 @ 10:00 AM
Carly101 - Your Question:
My husband left my daughter and I 2 years ago this christmas, he is Brazilian and got on a plane and went back to Brazil after living in the UK for 14 years. He has not contributed anything since leaving and has now had a baby with his girlfriend who was waiting for him in Brazil. Is there anything I can do to get him to pay? Can I get any help? I work full time to support our 7 year old daughter, but things are tight, because I have a mortgage and work it seems that I am limited in terms of what help I can get.

Our Response:
The UK has Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) with a number of other countries including Brazil, please see link herefrom where you can apply.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Jun-16 @ 2:13 PM
My husband left my daughter and I 2 years ago this christmas, he is Brazilian and got on a plane and went back to Brazil after living in the UK for 14 years. He has not contributed anything since leaving and has now had a baby with his girlfriend who was waiting for him in Brazil. Is there anything I can do to get him to pay? Can i get any help? I work full time to support our 7 year old daughter, but things are tight, because i have a mortgage and work it seems that i am limited in terms of what help i can get.
Carly101 - 23-Jun-16 @ 4:53 PM
Please can you explain to me how when the csa calculated my ex husbands maintenance they took into consideration his new partners three children (not my ex's kids) as they said he was responsible for dependants as they lived with them but they don't take into consideration his new partners income. How is it right that they take her kids into consideration and hence I get less for our four kids but they don't acknowledge her income. Surely if his responsible for her kids she should also be responsible in some way to contribute towards his. They have managed to let him work so few hours that I get very little yet she works full time and has a really good wage. No wonder single parents are on benefits! She also gets money from the dad's of her kids. Their rolling in it whilst I struggle.
Val - 28-May-16 @ 7:51 PM
I separated from my husband 4years ago we have been divorced for a year and a half now when we got devoted we decide that I wouldn't claim child maintainence and he was going to pay half for anything the kids need he hasn't paid for anything and I'm paying for everything I just wanted to know if I am entitled to claim for maintenance now
Sarah - 20-Mar-16 @ 12:49 PM
ret12 - Your Question:
I have a son who is 15 years old, for the first 10 years of his life my ex husband paid an amount we agreed on personally as when we divorced I wanted to stay together so I didn't want to take much from him. About 5 years ago he started paying like a drip-feeder, a bit here, a bit there which made it very hard for us to cope with bills, payments etc. Over the years he has racked up about £20,000 that he owes us. He also works abroad and earns an extremely high amount of money as the head man of a corporation and we are awarded less than 1 days worth of his salary for a whole month. First of all, how can we get him to pay us what he owes and secondly, how can we legally claim for more considering we are barely scraping by and he has a private jet?Thanks.

Our Response:
You may find Child Maintenance Options may be able to help set up a claim in order to help you get the child support you are eligible to. Please see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Aug-15 @ 12:42 PM
I have a son who is 15 years old, for the first 10 years of his life my ex husband paid an amount we agreed on personally as when we divorced I wanted to stay together so I didn't want to take much from him. About 5 years ago he started paying like a drip-feeder, a bit here, a bit there which made it very hard for us to cope with bills, payments etc. Over the years he has racked up about £20,000 that he owes us. He also works abroad and earns an extremely high amount of money as the head man of a corporation and we are awarded less than 1 days worth of his salary for a whole month.First of all, how can we get him to pay us what he owes and secondly, how can we legally claim for more considering we are barely scraping by and he has a private jet? Thanks.
ret12 - 14-Aug-15 @ 8:17 PM
Hi , I have had £50 a week maintenance, for my 7 year old son, my x husband now earns 1000 a week, and we the family are finding it a struggle... Am I entitled to ask for higher payments?
mel - 1-Jun-15 @ 11:14 AM
@Porsh - Even if he denies he is the father of your child, the CMS will treat him as the father if they have offered him a DNA test and he has refused to take it. If you need to complain you can look through this leaflet What to do if you’re unhappy with the Child Maintenance Service, link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Dec-14 @ 2:04 PM
I applied for maintanance but think things diddnt work out at first he said my daughter is not her's then they told him to do DNA test but he made excuses. He did this for 3 times after that he diddnt come to court on our court date the magistrate said they will dedate money from his work place. But all of that did not happen because they said they need DNA result. I dont know what to do next please help by the way my first court date was on 08 feb 2014- july dont rember the date
Porsh - 2-Dec-14 @ 6:56 PM
@C You don't say what 'rights' it is he wants. Much depends whether his name is on the birth certificate and whether he has Parental Responsibility. Even so, a father can always apply for rights to see his children - it depends upon the wider circumstances as to whether he can gain contact or not.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Nov-14 @ 2:48 PM
Does a non-resident father who abandoned his child and mother have any rights?
C - 20-Nov-14 @ 2:01 PM
@San - I'm afraid we can't comment on Polish law and its processes, as it is out of our remit.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Nov-14 @ 2:04 PM
I would like advice. My husband pays for 2 children who live in Poland with his x wife. She keeps going to the polish court and demanding more money. The UK court are allowing this. Is this right can they do this
san - 11-Nov-14 @ 6:21 AM
My ex girlfriend decided to end our relationship of 7 years a few months ago. Since then I have seen my 3 year old daughter 3 times, when I have been allowed by the EX. I payed for the rent, car, insurances, bills etc. for 4 months whilst sofa hopping. She has now moved into a council house. The CSA won't even acknowledge the £1400.00 per month it was costing me to keep her in car/house/phone etc. My ex girlfriend is denying me access to my daughter unless I pay her £790.00 per month (based on my earnings) I think this is extortionate and it disgusts me especially since she has a council house, tax credits, child benefit and pays for jack all! This country should honestly re-think the system. It is so unfair on many hard working, honest men. I am seriously considering moving abroad, or working for nothing just so she doesn't get the satisfaction of receiving anything from me, and after all who suffers the most, the child. Not because of the money but because the women involved will do anything to ruin a mans life. Its disgraceful. I will never have another child again due to this. It now has a strain on my new relationship as my partner wants children.
Annoyed - 1-Sep-14 @ 8:56 AM
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