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How Much Will I Have To Pay?

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 9 Nov 2018 |
 
How Much Child Support Csa Parent Rate

Child maintenance is financial support that helps towards your child's everyday living expenses and is paid on a regular basis. The parent that pays child maintenance is the non-resident parent i.e. the one who does not live with the child or have day-to-day care for the child. Child maintenance is paid to the parent the child lives with (the resident parent). In some cases, this may not be a parent, such as a grandparent or guardian with full care.

Why pay maintenance?

Paying maintenance for your child is extremely important. The person with full care of your child will no doubt be doing their best, however, the extra money that you pay can help to give your children a more stable and better quality upbringing. Maintenance payments will generally go towards food, clothes, school trips, books, toys and games, toiletries, medicines, childcare, activities, etc.

How much to pay?

The amount of child maintenance that you have to pay as a non-resident parent depends on a number of factors such as income, the number of children living with you and the number of children you have, whether you are the resident parent, are in receipt of benefits and whether or not the child also stays with you sometimes.

Types of maintenance arrangement

There are two main ways to arrange child maintenance:
  • Family-based arrangement
  • Child Support Agency (CSA) or Child Maintenance Service (CMS)

If you are on good terms with the resident parent, it may be that you can come to some arrangement about how much you pay and how often.

The alternative and most popular option is to pay maintenance through the CSA and CMS.

How is child maintenance calculated?

The CSA and CMS calculates maintenance, whilst taking into account several factors which includes net weekly income (CSA), gross weekly income (CMS).

The four rates applied to the non-resident parent's net weekly income include:

  • basic rate
  • reduced rate
  • flat rate
  • nil rate

Basic rate

Any new claims are now organised through the CMS. Between 2014 and 2017 the Child Support Agency (CSA) will contact all existing clients to end their current child maintenance arrangements to put in place a new arrangement.

The following information is based on existing calculations made via the CSA. For new claims via the CMS, you can contact the CMS directly on 0800 0835 130.

Reduced rate

If the non-resident parent earns between £100 and £200 per week, they will pay a flat rate plus a percentage of their weekly income. This will vary depending on how many children they have that require maintenance. The flat rate is £5 per week, plus 25% of their income for one child, 35% of their income for two children, and 45% of their income for three or more children.

Flat rate

If the non-resident parent earns between £5 and £100 per week, they will pay a flat rate of £5 per week. This includes people who are on state benefits, Job Seeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Bereavement Allowance, Income Support, State Pensions and certain other benefits. This rate will be the same regardless of how many children they have. In the case of state benefits, the child maintenance is usually deducted at source.

Nil rate

If the non-resident parent earns less than £5 per week, for example if they are a full time student, are under 16 years old, in prison, 18 or under in further education (no higher than A level) or are in a care home, the nil rate will apply. This means that they will not be required to pay anything.

What if a parent has other children?

If a resident parent has children with several different non-resident parents, the CSA will make these calculations separately. For example, if a woman has two children by one father and one by another man, the men will only pay for their own children respectively. Similarly, if a non-resident parent is paying money to several children in different households, the CSA will generally divide the money equally between the children.

If the non-resident parent has some CSA arrangements and some Family-Arrangement maintenance then unfortunately, the CSA cannot take into account the Family-Arrangement maintenance paid. It can, however, take into account any court orders in relation to maintenance.

What happens if the child stays overnight with both parents?

If the child stays overnight with the non-resident parent at least 52 nights a year i.e. on average at least one night a week then both parents have "shared care".

In the case of the basic and reduced rates, the amount of child maintenance that the non-resident parent has to pay is reduced in equal proportion to time the child stays with them. For example, if a parent is to pay £35 per week in maintenance but the child stays with the resident parent for 2 out of 7 nights per week, that £35 will be split into sevenths i.e. £35 divided by 7 nights x 5 nights that the child lives with the resident parent = £25. This is in addition to the flat rate of £5 which is always to be paid.

For the flat and nil rates, the amount to pay is nil.

What happens if the parent with care claims benefits?

Previously if the resident parent was claiming child maintenance, they were not always able to claim in full for benefits . However, since April 2010, benefits will not be affected by the amount of child maintenance received.

What happens if the non-resident parent is self-employed?

Calculations are made in the same way for self-employed non-resident parents as those who are employed. The CSA does have to calculate the earnings differently by working out the average weekly earnings for the past tax year. If this cannot be done, i.e. the business has not been up and running for a full year, then the CSA will use the gross income of the business to date. Reasonable business expenses and VAT are then deducted to obtain a weekly income figure, which is used to determine which rate of child maintenance should be paid.

What happens if the non-resident parent refuses to give their financial information to the CSA?

If a non-resident parent refuses to give information and it cannot be obtained from other sources, then a "default maintenance decision" is applied. This is a default rate which is as follows:

  • £30 a week for one child
  • £40 a week for 2 children
  • £50 a week for 3 or more children

The non-resident parent must pay from the date that the default maintenance decision was applied.

Other Factors

The CSA can also consider other elements before making a determination on maintenance payments. These can include fees for boarding school, special expenses that the non-resident parent pays for disabled children who live with them, mortgage payments for a property in which the parent with care and the child/children live (as long as the non-resident no longer has a legal interest in it) or loan payments for a loan taken out for the family's benefit while the non-resident parent was still living with the parent with care and the child/children.

Challenging the Decision

If you are not paying child support or have an application against you can find out if you have to pay child support. It is possible to ask the CSA to review a decision on maintenance payments.

Do you have to notify the CSA of changes to your circumstances?

The answer is yes. If you have a change in circumstances, you must notify the CSA/CMS immediately. If you are paying less than you should be then your child could suffer. Additionally, if the CSA/CMS finds out, you may have to make up for what you should have been paying. More positively, you could be paying too much and the figure needs to be lowered. You must also keep the CSA informed of any change of address.

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[Add a Comment]
I pay almost 300 I month but if I earn more than last p60 it will go up but what % is it I can earn extra without it going up I did hear 25% is this true? thanks
dan - 9-Nov-18 @ 6:34 PM
Hay me and my pertner just split up and his has the 3childen three days week how much support dose he to pay plaese
Ray - 8-Nov-18 @ 2:27 PM
Hi.. I have a 6 years old daughter.. last day we have done the word settlement about my daughter's support. He said that he had only 5,000 monthly income.but then after that day i do my own investigation about his income.i found out that he lie. He had almost 13,000 a month. What can I do.. what case do i need to file.
Sirk - 2-Nov-18 @ 11:05 AM
Hi really struggling with the new cms.paying 700 a month is killing me I then have to obviously pay my bills oh and maybe have something to eat all from 2000 a month have 4 children 2 with one and 2 with another one is single other is living as married couple last 2yrs is this correct don’t know what to do ? Please if anyone could advise would appreciate
Jay74 - 31-Oct-18 @ 6:48 PM
I have two children with my ex husband who earns 800 a week. What should he be paying me for them?
Lj - 19-Sep-18 @ 12:32 PM
@Anastasija -£210.12 worked out on a 4x weekly month, unless there are charges factored in too. Speak to CMS they will give you a breakdown.
MarKB - 10-Sep-18 @ 10:37 AM
Hi.if in a letter says the paying parent have to pay £50.28 weekly,how much it would be monthly?the total amount says 2620.70.Thank yoi
Anastasija - 9-Sep-18 @ 12:43 PM
My ex earns over 1000 a week. do i still pay maintenance?
Ali - 27-Aug-18 @ 8:52 PM
My husband pays £140 a month for his child to a previous relationship and we have 3 of our own children who are very young. The calculations made by CSA are from his self employed work which varies all the time. Because the payment has to be made it leaves our own children with not much. Why are my children worth so much less than his other child who gets the set amount when I’m not working or receiving benefits yet the mother of his other child is living on full benefits/housing etc just for having kids and not wanting to work? Why are my children entitled to less of his money?
Ms - 22-Aug-18 @ 12:11 AM
My ex and I have a son who is 17 years old and turns 18 in January. He has left school and begins college this month, doing a course that equates to an NC or SVQ2 level. My understanding of this is I am still legally responsible to pay my ex when my son is in full time education, no higher than A-level education, which is the level this course would be? When the ex and I split years ago, I went on to have 2 children with my current partner. Both children still in primary school and nursery. I never reduced the amount I paid my ex. This is something that would be factored in to payments if I was to go through the CSA or whatever the name is these days? Having a quick look at the maintenance calculator available online, having 2 further children with my new partner seems to have little to no change at all.
Sammy - 20-Aug-18 @ 4:42 PM
@MJE as child maintenance is assessed on earnings from the a previously he might have been earning less. It's the only way they can extract money if there are no HMRC tax records for 2016/17 (they have to work from previous years to do their calculations). You should get this year's earnings attributed to next year's child maintenance.
RoryR - 17-Aug-18 @ 2:10 PM
@Jayg - if you are not working, then your ex may have to pay child maintenance to his child. Give CMS a call to find out.
Grey78 - 13-Aug-18 @ 11:08 AM
Our two children are split. The six year old lives with dad and three year old with me. Their dad works full time. I live in a new relationship and do not work. Does my ex have to pay maintenance for the child who lives with me and would I have to pay maintenance to him for the child he has.
Jayg - 12-Aug-18 @ 6:53 AM
Today I have been awarded £11pw going on the calculation you have got from HMRC for tax year 2015. We are now in 2018 and my ex partner takes home over £400pw. Please explain how this is a fair calculation. The response I got on the phone was this is what HMRC have given us, despite being a calculation of over 3 years ago? This surely can’t be correct and I should have to wait a year for you to review?
MJE - 1-Aug-18 @ 10:49 PM
I have a daughter with my previous wife.for who i pay maintenance.i now have a son with my new wife does he come into acount when working out maintenance payments.
Jmrit - 1-Aug-18 @ 7:26 PM
David - Your Question:
Why is it you feel that it is morally right to take money to the point I can afford to live?Despite not seeing my child because of a spiteful ex? When the payments go up I am over £100 short a month to pay my bills and get food shopping, so I have to choose what to pay each month and get myself Into more debt.

Our Response:
There are no individual assessments. The standard formula on a basic rate is that, if you’re paying for one child, you’ll pay 12% of your gross weekly income. This is across the board. If your ex refuses access, then you can apply via the courts. If you cannot afford legal representation, you can self litigate, please see link here. If you are on a low income, you may get a reduction in court fees. I am sorry to hear you are struggling financially, the link here may be able to help you with advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Jul-18 @ 11:22 AM
Why is it you feel that it is morally right to take money to the point I can afford to live? Despite not seeing my child because of a spiteful ex? When the payments go up i am over £100 short a month to pay my bills and get food shopping, so I have to choose what to pay each month and get myself Into more debt.
David - 29-Jul-18 @ 1:32 PM
Celrah - Your Question:
My ex husband has been paying child Support since my daughter was 4 years old. While on Child Support he always paid on time and the amount increased every year as she got older. Two years ago with the amount of £240.00 a month, he asked if he can do direct payments. I agreed, thinking that being civil will be the new future. My daughter is now in secondary school, obviously older, obviously wanting new things and wanting to do more things, a school week trip to America in February which has cost £1560.00 is still being paid monthly by myself. not to mention the everyday expenses.I asked him if he can give a little more and he’s refused. He earns £1,370 per month. This is his only child. Am I being unreasonable or does he (should he) pay more monthly. If we were still on the CSA he would of paid more because it used to increase. I sooo regret the direct payments now. Please help me. I work in a school as a teacher but I am struggling.

Our Response:
A family-based arrangement is not set in stone and should be open to such negotiation. If your ex refuses to take such issues on board (if the balance is unfair) then you would have the option to apply to CMS, if you think you would be allocated more money. You can work out what you may get via the calculator here .
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jul-18 @ 12:15 PM
My ex husband has been paying child Support since my daughter was 4 years old. While on Child Support he always paid on time and the amount increased every year as she got older. Two years ago with the amount of £240.00 a month, he asked if he can do direct payments. I agreed, thinking that being civil will be the new future. My daughter is now in secondary school, obviously older, obviously wanting new things and wanting to do more things, a school week trip to America in February which has cost £1560.00 is still being paid monthly by myself... not to mention the everyday expenses.. I asked him if he can give a little more and he’s refused. He earns £1,370 per month. This is his only child. Am I being unreasonable or does he (should he) pay more monthly. If we were still on the CSA he would of paid more because it used to increase. I sooo regret the direct payments now. Please help me. I work in a school as a teacher but I am struggling.
Celrah - 26-Jul-18 @ 2:00 PM
Beth - Your Question:
I have a newborn child. My ex wants to pay maintenance but he is self employed saying his hours of work are unpredictable. I have asked for his gross income for 2016/2017 but he is refusing to share this information with me. He is asking to have a new born child over nights, when he can’t even change the nappy, or is very nervous around the baby and scared of holding the baby. My son isn’t drinking much fluids and I have been in hospital now for two weeks, he hasn’t bothered coming to see him or texted to ask how he is doing. He asked me what I need for maintenance payments so I suggested between £50-£60 a week and he doesn’t want to pay this.

Our Response:
Child maintenance and child access are two separate issues. If your ex doesn't want to pay the suggested child maintenance, you can apply via CMS. Please see link here . You can see more about arranging contact or access via the link here . If your child is newborn and you are breastfeeding, you may wish to come to a gradual contact arrangement. This can be organised through mediation, if you cannot agree between yourselves.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Jul-18 @ 3:19 PM
I have a newborn child. My ex wants to pay maintenance but he is self employed saying his hours of work are unpredictable. I have asked for his gross income for 2016/2017 but he is refusing to share this information with me. He is asking to have a new born child over nights, when he can’t even change the nappy, or is very nervous around the baby and scared of holding the baby. My son isn’t drinking much fluids and I have been in hospital now for two weeks, he hasn’t bothered coming to see him or texted to ask how he is doing. He asked me what I need for maintenance payments so I suggested between £50-£60 a week and he doesn’t want to pay this.
Beth - 8-Jul-18 @ 8:19 PM
Wayne - Your Question:
Hi. my wife left me in March 2017, and took my then 14 month old son. they went to Ireland to start with for 10 days, which I found out from her mother. when she returned,she said she had moved away and was renting elsewhere. I stayed in our rented flat at 1st, until she informed me that she would have to return after her 6 month contract, as she couldn't afford private renting. I went along with it , and kept the flat going, and planned to move out on the date she was to return. I had contact with my son whenever my shift work allowed, and my wife didn't make it easy, claiming my son had nursery Monday-Thursday.She moved back to the flat, and I moved into a rented room with no arguments. things have got worse as times gone by, and since my wife moved back to the flat, she was only there for a few days, before moving out again. I have never known where my son lives, and asked her for address, so my solicitor could send divorce papers. This was never received at address given, and solicitor advised she never lived there. Divorce papers were sent to her parents, which she received, and turned nastier. I am still waiting for her to agree to divorce. I now haven't seen my son for 13 weeks, and she hardly responds to my text's. she has said to stop contacting her, or she will get me done for harassment. i have always, and continue to transfer her monthly money, which CSA worked out for me as a fair ammount.What can I do please?

Our Response:
If you do not know the address of where your child is living, then you can apply for a C4 form (which is an application for the disclosure of a child's whereabouts) alongside your C100 child arrangement form, please see link here . If you do not know where your child is living, then you can apply directly for a child arrangement order without having to attend mediation first. The C4 form will allow the courts to trace your child so that you can bring the matter to court. If you cannot afford legal fees, you can self-litigate, please see link here. The C4 form can be accessed via the link here . I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jun-18 @ 12:12 PM
Star girl - Your Question:
My ex has suggested to court he works well over the hrs he has declared to CMS and is either lying about what he works to court to alter contact arrangements or lying to CMS about his earnings, what would be done in this instance?

Our Response:
It is a difficult question to answer as it is worded hypothetically. However, with regards to earnings, if he is employed and paying tax via HMRC, then the earnings figure is taken from the amount of tax he has paid annually. If your ex is self-employed, then it is more difficult to prove. To get a proper answer, you would have to clarify your question in more depth.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jun-18 @ 11:43 AM
My ex has suggested to court he works well over the hrs he has declared to CMS and is either lying about what he works to court to alter contact arrangements or lying to CMS about his earnings, what would be done in this instance?
Star girl - 11-Jun-18 @ 9:55 AM
Mistified - Your Question:
My husband has a 9 year with his ex partner. He has been giving his ex money based on our calculations using this webpage. But he isn't on the birth certificate. Every time he mentions it she stops contact. Where does he stand with paying maintenance while not being on the birth certificate. Also is my income taking into consideration when working out child support?

Our Response:
Your husband doesn't have to be registered on his child's birth certificate to be named as the father to CMS. All biological non-resident parents are responsible by law for paying towards the day-to-day financial care of their child regardless. If your husband wants to claim parental responsibility for his child, then please see link here . If your husband disputes his parentage, then please see link here . Your income is not counted when assessing child maintenance, as you are not deemed responsible for supporting your husband's child financially.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jun-18 @ 9:22 AM
Hi. my wife left me in March 2017, and took my then 14 month old son. they went to Ireland to start with for 10 days, which i found out from her mother. when she returned, she said she had moved away and was renting elsewhere. i stayed in our rented flat at 1st, until she informed me that she would have to return after her 6 month contract, as she couldn't afford private renting. i went along with it , and kept the flat going, and planned to move out on the date she was to return. I had contact with my son whenever my shift work allowed, and my wife didn't make it easy, claiming my son had nursery Monday-Thursday.She moved back to the flat, and i moved into a rented room with no arguments. things have got worse as times gone by, and since my wife moved back to the flat, she was only there for a few days, before moving out again. i have never known where my son lives, and asked her for address, so my solicitor could send divorce papers. This was never received at address given, and solicitor advised she never lived there. Divorce papers were sent to her parents, which she received, and turned nastier. i am still waiting for her to agree to divorce. i now haven't seen my son for13 weeks, and she hardly responds to my text's. she has said to stop contacting her, or she will get me done for harassment. i have always, and continue to transfer her monthly money, which CSA worked out for me as a fair ammount. What can i do please?
Wayne - 11-Jun-18 @ 1:25 AM
My husband has a 9 year with his ex partner. He has been giving his ex money based on our calculations using this webpage. But he isn't on the birth certificate. Every time he mentions it she stops contact. Where does he stand with paying maintenance while not being on the birth certificate. Also is my income taking into consideration when working out child support?
Mistified - 10-Jun-18 @ 9:24 AM
Hello Child support payments Cms is not a child tax ? Then why have they taxed me 50% of my nett income from my bank account how could the 60% protected nett earnings be in place ? The liability orders I've had have been 40% plus statory taxes paid The p60 states taxes where paid but the dishonest amounts taken as deductions are not I contact Cms like their letters state contact Cms to reach a resolve Going nowhere going round in circles it's a goverment policy contact your local mp and I'm hanging up now Or I'm shouted at over the phone Made out to be less than a person Because common sense is lacking in their theft of my income And it's allowed to be denied a living livable household income Because maximum debt maximum profit I'm in arrears by the service charge they took that has nothing to do with my children's needs or out of poverty Appeals rejected mp 7 times all rejected 17 months of collect and pay as a unreasonable contract payment amount Or the unrealistic expectation of working the shortfall in income Pay more in taxes gross will increase the following year So my csp go up by 100% Which is racketeering and profiteering This practice of punishments and scare tactics Is effecting my mental health and my ability to be employed Nobody in the country will go to work to lose 68% of their income at source either doe from wages or twoc from their bank account Tribuniall rejected their answer we can do what we like because we can 10 months out of work because Cms has priced my out of employment my was 1000 a month income that I've done fir 22 years is not enough for Cms The policy has to change I'm a person Not a wallet The monies taken by pwc from the state housing child and working tax credits I cannot put in what she has taken out I was on a contract of 140 hours a month at 7.75 an hour How is this system fair or balanced if 50% is what is needed by Cms 87 x5 = 435 a month For a 24% surcharge arrears and on going csp 33 x 4 = 126 I offered 10% as a fba after their instructions of paying 9 x times as a standing order Pwc gave me her bank details and I paid her directly to do away with this dishonest company that is Cms Cms said I could not do that and a liabilty order issued at 378 Again how is this 60% protected earnings if 18% is statory taxes Which Cms said it's a bit awkward so we do it by gross If tax has been paid how can they get the money twice if it's already been taken I said in my tribuniall I'm classed as a non entity and my children are a comodity that I can be exploited at source from my bank account at 50% of my income Best of intentionS gone wrong again The 0-100 £7 100-200 £14 200-3000 ? I had 225 a week nett And 435 is two weeks wages No the stress of being financially abused by a service that is a provision for children's needs I've had to access a food Bank 4 x because I've had no money for food or bills I'm a home owner was
Dave - 17-May-18 @ 7:42 AM
Ger - Your Question:
Hi we separated to my partner and we have 3childrens,eldest will be in first year high school this August and second in5class and youngest 5y old.their father is earning the same as me 1700 monthly but according to him he can only give 200 euro per month for the three.is this enough?coz he said if I ask more than that he prepare to go home to the country where he lives or he prepares to go to jail bcoz he dont want to work hard just to pay for child support.would he be exempted if ever he will run away?

Our Response:
If you and your ex live in the UK, then the basic rate paid via CMS for one child, they will pay 12% of their gross weekly income, two children, 16% and three or more children, they will pay 19% of their gross weekly income. If you have a family-based child maintenance arrangement, then a figure can be negotiated between you. If your ex decides to leave the country, there is a The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit that can help to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally. However, this only applies to certain countries, you can find the list via the gov.uk link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-May-18 @ 12:57 PM
Hi we separated to my partner and we have 3childrens,eldest will be in first year high school this August and second in5class and youngest 5y old.their father is earning the same as me 1700 monthly but according to him he can only give 200 euro per month for the three.is this enough?coz he said if I ask more than that he prepare to go home to the country where he lives or he prepares to go to jail bcoz he dont want to work hard just to pay for child support .would he be exempted if ever he will run away?
Ger - 14-May-18 @ 8:55 PM
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