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How to Make a Claim for Child Support

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 16 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Support Agency Csa Maintenance

Claiming Child Support, from a non resident parent, is a simple process that requires a relatively small amount of a parent with care’s time. This periodic payment will help towards the costs of a child’s day-to-day living expenses, and can be used to pay for school fees, clothing, shelter, food and extracurricular activities.

What Do To

The Department for Work and Pensions provides an easy-to-use website, where parents can download claim forms and access additional resources. Child Support claim forms are available in pdf format and can be printed off, signed and posted to the relevant address.

In some cases, the option to fill in details and submit forms online is also available. Before submitting information online however, parents must be registered with the centralised registration service, the Government Gateway. This service allows users to access other government services on the Internet. Once registration is complete individuals can use a single user ID to send and receive application forms.

Parents can also directly contact the Child Support Agency (CSA), and provide the required information to staff on the telephone, by using a call back facility.

How Long Does It Take?

From the minute an application form is submitted to the CSA’s formal acknowledgement takes around 12 weeks. The initial four weeks is taken up by gathering and checking information provided by the non resident parent. If a trace needs to be put on the parent the whole process will take considerably longer. Ensuring relevant details and up-to-date information is provided at the start of the application process will enable CSA staff to complete the necessary administrative tasks more quickly.

The Child Support Agency aims to give parents with care an accurate decision as soon as possible, but sometimes this could take in the region of 26 weeks.

How Soon Is Payment Arranged?

Once initial payment arrangements have been made, the CSA aims to collect and distribute the first child maintenance payment, to the parent with care, within 6 weeks. Once the CSA receives maintenance payment from the non resident parent it takes a week to process and to distribute the amount.

If a Child Support payment has to be deducted from a non resident parent’s wages, via their employer, due to the parent’s failure to comply with obligations, the payment may take around 4 months to set up and distribute.

What To Do If A Parent Lives Abroad

If a parent no longer lives in the UK the Child Support Agency is only able to help collect payments if a claim for maintenance meets with the exceptions the CSA cover. If a non resident parent is working abroad in the service of the Crown, is a member of the Armed Forces, works abroad for a UK based company or is working abroad on secondment, to a recognised body like the NHS, the CSA will be able to assist parents with care with their maintenance claims.

If the non-resident parent lives abroad, but does not meet the above requirements, parents with care can apply for child maintenance through the UK courts.

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[Add a Comment]
marko - Your Question:
When I separated from my child's mother I let her have all profits from our house as she could not get a mortgage on her income. I had paid the mortgage & her car as well as an home improvement loan.i.e.; everything, this was based on the agreement (in writing through her solicitor) I pay £200 a month I see my son 2-3 days a week & help out around my ex's unpredictable work hours.she is now asking for more money, I am also pretty sure she has emptied an account we both contributed to as when I went to put money in I was told there was another book in circulation & the balance was significantly less.The agreement of £200 is less than 18 month old.

Our Response:
Much depends upon your income and whether it has changed. You can of course say no. Your ex's option would be then to either approach Child Maintenance Services who would assess you based upon your income, or she could apply to take the matter to court. A solicitor's agreement only has the weight of current circumstances and the agreement between the two parents, but if situations change, then so can the agreement if taken to court. That's not to say a court case would come out in her favour. It would be up to the court to decide what it thinks is in your children's best interests, not hers. Therefore, you may wish to seek some legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-May-17 @ 3:13 PM
When I separated from my child's mother I let her have all profits from our house as she could not get a mortgage on her income. I had paid the mortgage & her car as well as an home improvement loan....i.e.; everything, this was based on the agreement (in writing through her solicitor) I pay £200 a month I see my son 2-3 days a week & help out around my ex's unpredictable work hours.....she is now asking for more money, I am also pretty sure she has emptied an account we both contributed to as when I went to put money in I was told there was another book in circulation & the balance was significantly less. The agreement of £200 is less than 18 month old.
marko - 2-May-17 @ 1:27 PM
My son is eight years old and his father got married to a UK Citizen about two years now from dat time we have not heard from him we use to have a phone number which he doesn't answer anymore.while in Jamaica he use to pay child support through the court office which he no longer does How can i get some information with regard to getting child support for my son
tash - 13-Apr-17 @ 8:34 PM
Hello, I just found out I am pregnant from my boyfriend. He is from Romania. He is currently living in the UK. When he found out, he dumped me and told me he is going back home. Can I get child support?
Gemma - 8-Mar-17 @ 7:54 PM
bob - Your Question:
The citizens advice bureau website clearly states that "If you share care of your child equally, neither of you has to pay maintenance to each other." Can you please clear up whether this is correct information or not?

Our Response:
Generally speaking, shared-care is a family-based arrangement and usually agreed between the parents, alongside whether one parent has to pay maintenance to the other or not. For instance, if both parents are working and earning similar salaries, then it is often agreed that both parents should both share the care of the child(ren)and no one parent has to pay child maintenance to the other. However, if there is an imbalance both financially and with regards to access, then it is usually the parent who has the majority of the care who is the one who is entitled to claim child maintenance. Alternatively, if shared care is entirely equal, but there is a financial imbalance, it is usually the person who is in receipt of child benefit who can apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). Once calculated, the amount of child maintenance paid is reduced by the amount of nights the paying parent has the child(ren) overnight. So, I'm afraid, despite what CAB says, there is no black-and-white answer here. Much depends upon the parents' attitudes, especially the parent who is essentially the primary carer (i.e the person who is in receipt of child benefit) and whether they wish to apply to claim. I hope this helps clarify your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 7-Mar-17 @ 12:45 PM
The citizens advice bureau website clearly states that "If you share care of your child equally, neither of you has to pay maintenance to each other." Can you please clear up whether this is correct information or not?
bob - 6-Mar-17 @ 5:44 PM
My ex husband moved to Thailand purely to avoid paying maintenance 12 years ago, I was told by the CSA that as he a non U.K. Resident he doesn't have to pay towards his daughter. Does anyone know if this is still the case please? Can I make a claim How do I go about it Has anyone been successful if they've done this please
Vix - 18-Feb-17 @ 12:08 PM
hi gud good day..i am a filipina with 2 kids 16 & 15 years old boys. the father of my sons is now living with another woman their in Nottingham U.K. how can i reached my husband their. And all i want is his Child support for my sons. Hoping that you could help me.
tess - 22-Jan-17 @ 12:41 PM
Dillis - Your Question:
Hi my child is 16 doesn't leave school till July then is going to college his dad thinks he doesn't have to pay owt for him he has been paying me 100 every month but have to chase him for it at end of month anyway he said he wasn't paid at Xmas so it will be late he pays me on 1st of every month it's now 17th he said he transferred it mon night keep checking my bank and nothing from him he lies and makes excuses all the time we been separated bout 7 years now my son only stayed at his time last year he makes excuses all the time where do we stand now pls

Our Response:
You don't say whether you are in a family based arrangement or an ararngement via the CMS. If you are in the former, you cannot claim arrears from your ex (except by mutual negotiation). If your arrangement is through the CMS, then your ex will be laible for arrears. Therefore, if you are not satisfied with the current arrangement, then you may wish to approach the CMS to help organise payment, please see link here. With regards to your question of what age should child maintenance payments stop, by law every 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 your ex's maintenance payments will continue until your child finishes the course, or until they turn 20. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Jan-17 @ 10:52 AM
Hi my child is 16 doesn't leave school till July then is going to college his dad thinks he doesn't have to pay owt for him he has been paying me 100 every month but have to chase him for it at end of month anyway he said he wasn't paid at Xmas so it will be late he pays me on 1st of every month it's now 17th he said he transferred it mon night keep checking my bank and nothing from him he lies and makes excuses all the time we been separated bout 7 years now my son only stayed at his time last year he makes excuses all the time where do we stand now pls
Dillis - 19-Jan-17 @ 10:58 AM
Hi my ex husband has never paid child support since we split up 7 years ago. I have a non molestation order to protect me and the children and have avoided Contacting the csa due to his violence and harassment. Which only stopped when I got the non molestation order last year. Life had been a leaving hell.I am struggling financially and am not in receipt of any benefits as I am a full time working mum but think that he should paytowards the children regardless of how he has behaved. I am still not sure whether to contact the csa as I feel like I will be opening a can of worms and inviting more trouble from him. But I am struggling and i want the children to have the things they deserve that i cant always afford. Also it just doesn't seem fair that I have all the financial worry and he has none. Dont get me wrong I will always put the children first for anything they need which is how I feel it should be however It would help if I didn't have to pay for this all on my own. Previously he had given up his job so that he wouldn't have to pay anything. Would i get anything i have two children one who is only 8 and doesnt know him and one who is 13 who doesn't want to. Would i be able to claim anything for all theae years that he hasnt paid a penny also? Please can you advise.
Kasey - 14-Jan-17 @ 2:13 PM
Belinda- Your Question:
Hi. I am a single mother of a 6 year old daughter in South Africa. Her Father is a british citizen. He left when she was 6 months after his visa ran out. We have never received support from him. How could I procced with claiming support. I am not able to afford legal costs and desperately need assistance with schooling. Thank you so much

Our Response:
Please see REMO link here which will help answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Jan-17 @ 1:43 PM
Hi. I am a single mother of a 6 year old daughter in South Africa. Her Father is a british citizen. He left when she was 6 months after his visa ran out. We have never received support from him. How could I procced withclaiming support. I am not able to afford legal costs and desperately need assistance with schooling. Thank you so much
Belinda - 12-Jan-17 @ 9:47 PM
SMB - Your Question:
Hi, im nearly 30 a mother of 1 and she's 1 & 5 month's old. Her daddy is British Dr. But he die last year 3day's after her 1st birthday and I am Filipina, can I ask if she can get any (child support )

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You would not be entitled to claim child support from her father, if her father has died. However, if her father was in arrears with child maintenance, then you may be able to claim the arrears, please see CAB link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Jan-17 @ 11:24 AM
Hi, im nearly 30 a mother of 1 and she's 1 & 5 month's old. Her daddy is British Dr. But he die last year 3day's after her 1st birthday and I am Filipina, can i ask if she can get any (child support )
SMB - 8-Jan-17 @ 12:20 PM
Hi how can I get the father of my children to pay child support since he's living and working full-time as a chef in the UK...myself and my two children leaving in republic of Ireland Kind regards
Jose - 6-Jan-17 @ 10:11 AM
Hi, my daughters father has never paid any regular child support, claiming i recieve enough benefits and that he is only working cash in hand. I know that he works as a personal trainer privately and does earn money. If he does not declare his income, will I be able to get much needed financial support for a now 4 year old? Thanks
Betsyboo32 - 25-Dec-16 @ 8:35 PM
Hi. I separated from my husband in March. He is currently in the armed forces and making regular payments for child support. Since the separation he has decided that he will leave the armed forces next year to go back in to education meaning that he will have very little income and unable to help support our child. I am a student myself, which I was already doing before the separation. I have been told that because he has made the decision to leave the armed forces knowing he has the responsibility of supporting a child, that he should still be prepared to carry on paying the same level of child support. Is this correct? Is there someone/an agency I can talk to further in regards to this? Thank you.
Studentmum - 24-Dec-16 @ 9:21 AM
Laz - Your Question:
Hi. Can I ask you if parents want leave separate and we dont want any child maintainance (child support?) Can we do writhe on a paper what the father can pay every month left full refurb house fulli installed and sign plus sign with 2 other withness as well. ??? Thank you your help

Our Response:
No. Child maintenance is paid to the mother of the children, not the children. If your mother agrees to a family-based arrangement, then this is up to her, but I'm afraid you as children have no say in the matter.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Dec-16 @ 11:07 AM
Hi. Can i ask you if parents want leave separate and we dont want any child maintainance (child support?) Can we do writhe on a paper what the father can pay every month left full refurb house fulli installed and sign plus sign with 2 other withness as well. ??? Thank you your help
Laz - 19-Dec-16 @ 4:02 PM
Red - Your Question:
I recently stopped paying child maintenance to my ex because my daughter is with me and my wife 85% of the time for the past 3 years or more and now my ex wants to keep my child from me so she can go to CSA and get as much support as possible. Do I have any rights? Her mum would go 4,5,6 weeks at a time without seeing our daughter and when she did see her it's only for a few days. My ex just wants money and she doesn't care what this will do to our daughter. My daughter misses a lot of school when she's with her mother because she can't be bothered getting up. Please help!

Our Response:
You would have to apply for court for a child arrangement order if you wish to become the resident parent of your child. If you can prove your child has been living with you and your ex has only taken her back in order to claim money, then you would have a good case. I suggest you seek legal advice in order to explore your options.
ChildSupportLaws - 16-Dec-16 @ 12:35 PM
I recently stopped paying child maintenance to my ex because my daughter is with me and my wife 85% of the time for the past 3 years or more and now my ex wants to keep my child from me so she can go to CSA and get as much support as possible. Do I have any rights? Her mum would go 4,5,6 weeks at a time without seeing our daughter and when she did see her it's only for a few days. My ex just wants money and she doesn't care what this will do to our daughter. My daughter misses a lot of school when she's with her mother because she can't be bothered getting up. Please help!
Red - 15-Dec-16 @ 9:55 PM
nellie - Your Question:
Hi im 32 mother of 3.my own dad never paid me money since iwas born how Can I claim from him.im in ireland he in Londonmy kids dad stop paying me maintance for kids Iver month ago how can I claim for them please.

Our Response:
You cannot claim child maintenance from your father, as child maintenance is only paid to a parent. If you wish to claim for your children, then you can claim via the NI Direct link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Oct-16 @ 1:39 PM
hi im 32 mother of 3..my own dad never paid me money since iwas born how Can i claim from him.im in ireland he in London my kids dad stop paying me maintance for kids Iver month ago how can i claim for them please..
nellie - 17-Oct-16 @ 9:35 PM
sk - Your Question:
I would like to claim maintenance from the father of my children but he doesn't work and he doesn't want to pay either.What happens in this case specially if the father is threatening custody?

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child access or custody have no bearing on each other and are completely separate issues. If your ex is not earning then it is very difficult to claim anything other than a flat rate of maintenance. It is unlikely your ex will be granted 'custody' of your child as there are very few cases where a court will take a child from one parent and hand him/her to another, unless abosolutely necessary. The court will always choose consistency and stability which generally the resident-parent can adequately provide.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Oct-16 @ 12:20 PM
I would like to claim maintenance from the father of my children but he doesn't work and he doesn't want to pay either. What happens in this case specially if the father is threatening custody?
sk - 11-Oct-16 @ 7:09 PM
What number do I contact to get payment from an ex for my children he has not paid for 11 years csa couldn't trace him even wiv his address provided so couldn't help
Leigh - 14-Sep-16 @ 6:22 PM
uk2nz - Your Question:
Hi, im enquiring about how to go about claiming child support from a citizen of the uk, to the mother of the child, who are both still citizens of the uk but now live in nz. And also if possible? Can she also claim back payments, if so how far is she entitledto go?Thank youShay

Our Response:
Please see REMO link here. You cannot apply for back pay if a claim has never previously been registered.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Sep-16 @ 2:13 PM
Hi, im enquiring about how to go about claiming child support from a citizen of the uk, to the mother of the child, who are both still citizens of the uk but now live in nz. And also if possible? Can she also claim back payments, if so how far is she entitledto go? Thank you Shay
uk2nz - 5-Sep-16 @ 9:22 PM
I have two boys and their fathers didnt suport them even 1nce
Ora - 27-Aug-16 @ 4:35 PM
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