Home > Child Support & Family > How to Make a Claim for Child Support

How to Make a Claim for Child Support

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 16 Nov 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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Tyler - Your Question:
Please could anyone advise. My son's father has prestigious successful business. Employs staff. Pays himself a small salary. Ludicrous, implausible figure for central London. Cushioned by new partner. Shares her home. I am paid paltry figure each month. I feel contacting CSA will open a can of worms of aggravation and upset that I hoped to avoid however I feel it's become financially very unfair. I understand CSA will base figure on his taxable income/payslip ( small and not representative of gross earnings) and not his business earnings. Seems wrong. Is this the case please? Thank you for any advise.

Our Response:
If you feel your son's father has a lifestyle which is not based upon his earnings, and 'not' supplemented by his new partner (what she earns or contributes is of no concern to CMS), then you may have a case to take it to court. A court would look at his finances in depth. This can be helpful if you can prove he is earning more, but could costly to you in court costs if he can justify his small wage in front of a judge. Therefore, you would have to seek legal advice regarding this. Otherwise, unfortunately there is little recourse, CMS go on his HMRC-registered figures, and that's all it needs to know.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Nov-17 @ 12:27 PM
Please could anyone advise. My son's father has prestigious successful business. Employs staff. Pays himself a small salary. Ludicrous, implausible figure for central London.Cushioned by new partner. Shares her home. I am paid paltry figure each month. I feel contacting CSA will open a can of worms of aggravation and upset that I hoped to avoid however I feel it's become financially very unfair. I understand CSA will base figure on his taxable income/payslip ( small and not representative of gross earnings) and not his business earnings. Seems wrong. Is this the case please? Thank you for any advise.
Tyler - 16-Nov-17 @ 10:19 AM
Lauren - Your Question:
This is Regarding a historical child maintenance claim for my 18 year old daughter with my ex, who is still in full time education. It is Complicated as the CSA could only claim certain years 1999-2002 due to durisdiction issues with him living abroad (they now have a deduction of earnings in place for that period). I then had numerous attempts made through REMO but was also unsuccessful as he kept moving. I Now know he lives in the UK and wish to claim the outstanding 15 years of unpaid child maintenance. I have his work address and would like a court order put in place to retrieve it, can this be done? I can provide all relevant documents, I need a solicitor to help me progress and willing to pay.

Our Response:
Yes, you can take your ex to court for unpaid child maintenance - but much also depends upon his circumstances. For instance, if he doesn't own a house, has no savings and is unemployed, then there would be no point in pursuing a case against him as it will end up only costing you.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Oct-17 @ 10:49 AM
This is Regarding a historical child maintenance claim for my 18 year old daughter with my ex, who is still in full time education. It is Complicated as the CSA could only claim certain years 1999-2002 due to durisdiction issues with him living abroad (they now have a deduction of earnings in place for that period). I then had numerous attempts made through REMO but was also unsuccessful as he kept moving. I Now know he lives in the UK and wish to claim the outstanding 15 years of unpaid child maintenance. I have his work address and would like a court order put in place to retrieve it, can this be done? I can provide all relevant documents, I need a solicitor to help me progress and willing to pay.
Lauren - 23-Oct-17 @ 5:35 PM
Gosha - Your Question:
Hi. My child is 12 years old, we moved in UK in 2010, my child came in 2011. Me and my child are EU citizens, but I have a UK permanent resident certificate from HOME OFFICE. My daughter's father never payed a child support. He moved from EU to Ireland, have his own business and transfer some cash only ones a year. Please could you tell us is there any chance to take him to court or make him to support his child if he is in Ireland? Regards. Inga.

Our Response:
The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally and may be able to advise, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Oct-17 @ 3:29 PM
Hi. My child is 12 years old, we moved in UK in 2010, my child came in 2011. Me and my child are EU citizens, but I have a UK permanent resident certificate from HOME OFFICE. My daughter's father never payed a child support. He moved from EU to Ireland, have his own business and transfer some cash only ones a year. Please could you tell us is there any chance to take him to court or make him to support his child if he is in Ireland? Regards. Inga.
Gosha - 29-Sep-17 @ 8:44 PM
Hi I have a British Bf and we have a child together; I'm a Filipino citizen living in the Philippines. And the father of my child doesn't give financial support. Is there a way I can claim child support?
UKbaby02 - 26-Sep-17 @ 10:18 PM
Jay - Your Question:
Hello my daughter is 7,5 and we've moved from London to Switzerland one year ago. I won the case in the court but have to bring her back and pick her up 4 times a year April 2 weeks summer 5 weeks October 3 weeks winter 2 weeks (it's how she had school holiday) I'm responsible for all flights her dad pays nothing. He's a teacher and lives in uk. He said he won't pay any child support because he's looking after her 13 weeks per year. having said that he's not paying for any flights. I only work part time and is hard. me and him are Polish nationality but my daughter was born in uk and lived there until she was 6 yo. Now the question how and where shall I apply for child support? Shall I do it in Switzerland or apply from uk? Thank you ever so much. I really have no money to ask a lawyer for advice.

Our Response:
The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally. You can see more via the link here which should help you answer your question.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Aug-17 @ 2:23 PM
Hello my daughter is 7,5 and we've moved from London to Switzerland one year ago. I won the case in the court but have to bring her back and pick her up 4 times a year April 2 weeks summer 5 weeks October 3 weeks winter 2 weeks (it's how she had school holiday) I'm responsible for all flights her dad pays nothing. He's a teacher and lives in uk. He said he won't pay any child support because he's looking after her 13 weeks per year ... having said that he's not paying for any flights... I only work part time and is hard ... me and him are Polish nationality but my daughter was born in uk and lived there until she was 6 yo. Now the question how and where shall I apply for child support? Shall I do it in Switzerland or apply from uk? Thank you ever so much ... I really have no money to ask a lawyer for advice...
Jay - 18-Aug-17 @ 3:23 PM
Am a Kenyan residing in the UK for 14 years. I have 2 children aged 8 and 7. Been with my partner for 10 years and after I called it off for her having another relationships she went all berserk on me. It's a long story so please read and see if i....... if we can get any help. My partner has been working for the last 5 years. I been the mother to this kids as her parenting is awful to say the least. I bath the kids I take them to school I cook for them I do everything a mother does. Kids have a been happy and their school says the same. Now before I go any futher let me say I have working restrictions due to my immigration status. Home Office were just about to issue me with indefinite leave to remain. I report to them once  every month. Despite the stress of uncertainty over the years. I have been a good dad. Over this past year my partner who has a history of depression has had me arrested 3 times but no charges brought forward. First time I want to smack my 8 year old and missed and got her bare skin leaving a mark. My partner was ok with that but within the same hour we argued coz she left cloths in the wash for 2 weeks. She hates being told she is wrong. She got really angry like she always does and took the kids out in the streets to get mom. Once their they called the police that I smacked the daughter. Social got involved but saw no need for any action. However we signed some form staying that none of us should ever smack kids again. Since then my partner has smacked the daughter 2 times. Last time she did it daughter came and told me mommy smacked her. I want tell my partner to be carefull as we signed a letter and if she leaves a mark kisds could be taken away. Next thing I noticed she was in the phone in tears again. She asked kids to get dressed she is taking them to a party. I haven't seen it heard from them since. I called the police and they said they know where they are and they they are safe. 5 days have gone by and still nothing. I contacted social services and they said they will get back to me. Am still waiting. Now when I get arrested this kids suffer. She does not very them. She feeds them junk food. They don't even go to school coz she cannot wake up for them. School files will show that when am not home this kids are on a downer. I know 100% that the kids want to be home with me. They were happy. I'm more of a mother to this kids than she ever will be. She never asks kids to brush teeth despite pumping them with all sort of sugary stuff. She is very very untidy and takes advantage that I'll have to tidy the house up coz of the children.  I really genuinely feel sorry for this kids if she allowed to care for them alone. One more thing. We lived in a private property rented and tenancy agreement was under her name. My immigration case was based on this family. She is destroying our lives simply coz I said I won't be sleeping in the same bed with her. I revived an occupation order with a non molestation order. She has
proud daddy - 31-Jul-17 @ 1:29 PM
Sus - Your Question:
Me and my partner are Indian citizens.I hav two child one is born in 2011 and one is 2013. Both are born in uk. From till today not to claim child benefits. So if I claim now can I recvd any back dated child benefit or I just recvd from when to apply???

Our Response:
You would have to speak with the child benefit office directly regarding this matter.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 3:51 PM
Me and my partner are Indian citizens.I hav two child one is born in 2011 and one is 2013 . Both are born in uk. From till today not to claim child benefits . So if I claim now can I recvd any back dated child benefit or I just recvd from when to apply???
Sus - 27-Jul-17 @ 11:37 PM
Zoe - Your Question:
My ex husband and I have a mutual agreement in place for our 2 daughters aged 12 and 15 to pay 55pounds a wk. This has been the case for 6yrs. But over this 6mnths my daughter's reported their father and his new wife to social services for abuse of their 2 young children aged 2 and 6. Since then their father doesn't see them at all and have a lot of help from family's first and the school as my girls mental health has been affected greatly from this. As he does not have them sleep over at all now and they used to sleep over every other wkend. Should my child maintenance go up now. He has always worked and I'm claiming pip and child tax credits. Some advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Our Response:
If you have a family-based arrangement then child maintenance is agreed mutually. Therefore, if you feel his child maintenance payments should rise, then you would have to agree this between you. Otherwise, if you wish to claim via Child Maintenance Service then your ex would be assessed on the number of nights he has your children over and payments would be set accordingly.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Jul-17 @ 12:25 PM
My ex husband and I have a mutual agreement in place for our 2 daughters aged 12 and 15 to pay 55pounds a wk. This has been the case for 6yrs. But over this 6mnths my daughter's reported their father and his new wife to social services for abuse of their 2 young children aged 2 and 6. Since then their father doesn't see them at all and have a lot of help from family's first and the school as my girls mental health has been affected greatly from this. As he does not have them sleep over at all now and they used to sleep over every other wkend. Should my child maintenance go up now. He has always worked and I'm claiming pip and child tax credits. Some advice would be much appreciated.Thank you.
Zoe - 9-Jul-17 @ 4:37 PM
I separated from my ex in 2007 when my son was 5 a month later he gave me £185 and since then I've never received another penny, I moved to Dublin in 2010 and he still lives in the UK Am I entitled to claim maintenance through the CSA? If so how do I go about this our son will be 16 in November 2017.
Kazz - 22-Jun-17 @ 9:25 AM
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
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