Home > The Basic Facts > The Pros and Cons of the Child Support Laws

The Pros and Cons of the Child Support Laws

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 27 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Csa Child Support Agency Shared Care Non

As a lone parent financial concerns and issues may cause a considerable amount of stress. Raising a child, or several children, is a costly experience and having to account for every penny is an everyday occurrence for a lot of people.

Being able to claim child support is an entitlement that not only eases the financial pressure in the home environment but also reduces child poverty.

Collection And Distribution

In order to receive the maintenance payment you are entitled to, as a parent with care, a parent will have to apply for support via the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). Once detailed information, regarding the non-resident parent’s income, has been processed and the amount of maintenance is calculated the CMS will help organise collection and distribution of payment to the parent with care. However, the whole operation does not always run smoothly, which results in the experience having a negative effect on both parents.

The Real Cost Of Maintenance Payments

Paying child support requires a big commitment from any parent.

Whilst the parent with care may be in need of financial assistance to cover the cost of bringing up a child, the non resident parent may find they are having to work longer hours in order to be able to provide sufficient funds to cover the cost of the maintenance payments and their own living expenses. If an acrimonious split has occurred between the parents the non resident parent will feel even more aggrieved at having to fork out money to an ex partner.

Custody battles or arguments over visitation rights may also impact on the situation between the child’s parents, and make the child support application process a lot more difficult. In some cases non resident parents may opt not to pay maintenance support by remaining absent and not providing contact details or income information. Without this information processing an application for child maintenance requires the CMS to trace the non resident parent.

The Positives

Regular maintenance payments can take the pressure off financial concerns in the home, for the parent with care. Where shared care is in operation, the child, or children, will also benefit from having regular contact with both parents.

Sharing care enables the non-resident parent to spend time with their child in their own home, and will also mean that the amount of payable maintenance is divided by two, and reduced by one-seventh for each night the child spends at the non resident parent’s home.

Weighing Up The Pros And Cons

The way a parent can strengthen commitment to paying regular child support maintenance is to understand the reasons why they are doing so. By providing regular financial assistance for their child the non resident parent remains in some form of contact with the child – either through visits, shared care or by contact via the parent with care. For many non resident parents understanding the responsibility they have as a parent enables them to view the financial commitment in a more acceptable way.

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[Add a Comment]
@Shaz - CMS cannot take more than 40% of a person's wages. The NRP has to have something to live on I've pay their rent and eat.
MattH - 31-Oct-17 @ 3:15 PM
eddiemel - Your Question:
My partner has paid no maintenance since 01/04/17. She was paying just over £24 per month for our two children (she also made us homeless for just over a year) and has now moved to Belgium to avoid paying. She’s currently over £700 in arrears, should now be paying £82 something per month and due to the financial difficulties she’s put me in I have had to file for bankruptcy. The CMS know where she is but all they will do is send her a letter. I see from other comments people’s opinions of the CMS and I have to agree with them. I thought, maybe wrongly, the whole idea of the CMS was to hold the absent parent accountable for their financial obligations. I’m not racist but almost every operator I’ve spoken to at the CMS has an extremely poor understanding of the English language so I never like I’m getting anywhere. It’s very frustrating. I’m on my own, unable to work due to my sons special needs and all I want is for her to pay what she should - after all she’s the one that cheated and kicked us out of our home of 15 years. The CMS are genuinely useless.

Our Response:
Have you tried speaking to the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) unit directly for some advice? Please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Oct-17 @ 2:55 PM
Looking through some of the responses in other conversations I can see that using the REMO act has been suggested. I have asked the CMS to use this (my ex has gone to Belgium, a country that has signed up to the REMO act) but they either don’t understand what I’m saying or are unwilling to pursue this line. I have asked them to do this both via telephone and email. I believe the CMS, like it’s predecessor the CSA, is not fit for purpose - especially when I had to pay them to open my claim for child maintenance.
Eddiemel - 27-Oct-17 @ 9:58 PM
My partner has paid no maintenance since 01/04/17. She was paying just over £24 per month for our two children (she also made us homeless for just over a year) and has now moved to Belgium to avoid paying. She’s currently over £700 in arrears, should now be paying £82 something per month and due to the financial difficulties she’s put me in I have had to file for bankruptcy. The CMS know where she is but all they will do is send her a letter. I see from other comments people’s opinions of the CMS and I have to agree with them. I thought, maybe wrongly, the whole idea of the CMS was to hold the absent parent accountable for their financial obligations. I’m not racist but almost every operator I’ve spoken to at the CMS has an extremely poor understanding of the English language so I never like I’m getting anywhere. It’s very frustrating. I’m on my own, unable to work due to my sons special needs and all I want is for her to pay what she should - after all she’s the one that cheated and kicked us out of our home of 15 years. The CMS are genuinely useless.
eddiemel - 27-Oct-17 @ 9:40 PM
Non communication between CMS. I’m at the end of my tether. Seems like they have no powers at all to secure money which they have told me my child is entitled to. They write to tell me amount then every month it changes. My ex seems to have the law on he’s side with regards to having 60% of earnings protected. Nearly two years my case has been open and I’m only just receiving my second payment which is a different amount to what they told me. Over £5,000 in arrears and they can’t get one penny because of laws protecting he’s earnings whilst I work two jobs to keep my head above water. Every phone call is full of excuses.
Shaz - 27-Oct-17 @ 5:17 PM
why even when child custody is half and half does the father still need to pay the other parent who has a residential order? So over a 2 week period the child stays 7 nights at each household. Father works, mother doesn't. Yet father still needs to pay. Is there any plausible reason for this?
DRJD - 11-Oct-17 @ 9:05 PM
Mari - Your Question:
A friend from Brazil had a child with a U.K. Citizen and the boy now is 15 years old and he wants not pay child support anymore. What are my friends options in U.K. Laws compare to the Brazilian Laws , he's now marrried a Russian gal and has e daughter a sister that Antony the son has not meet yet. Thank you Maria.

Our Response:
Much depends upon how your friend pays child maintenance. If he plays through The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit which helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally, then he would be subjected to arrears.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Sep-17 @ 10:42 AM
A friend from Brazil had a child with a U.K. Citizen and the boy now is 15 years old and he wants not pay child support anymore. What are my friends options in U.K. Laws compare to the Brazilian Laws , he's now marrried a Russian gal and has e daughter a sister that Antony the son has not meet yet. Thank you Maria.
Mari - 21-Sep-17 @ 2:40 AM
BloodBought - Your Question:
Hi,I have a written private agreement with my wife to help support our children. It was drawn up and the amount that is paid each month was what my wife wanted. She saw the document and signed both her copy and the copy that was made for myself.She is threatening to go to the CSA because she is not handling her finances very well and while we are separated I have always told her that I would never see her, or my children stuck financially.Does she have legal grounds to still go to the CSA or does the written private agreement nullify it?

Our Response:
Your ex can claim child maintenance directly through CMS, if and when she chooses, regardless of any written agreement.
ChildSupportLaws - 23-May-17 @ 2:28 PM
Hi, I have a written private agreement with my wife to help support our children.It was drawn up and the amount that is paid each month was what my wife wanted.She saw the document and signed both her copy and the copy that was made for myself. She is threatening to go to the CSA because she is not handling her finances very well and while we are separated I have always told her that I would never see her, or my children stuck financially. Does she have legal grounds to still go to the CSA or does the written private agreement nullify it?
BloodBought - 22-May-17 @ 11:17 PM
My friends mom keeps lying and making false accusations about the father and after multiple court dates and "agreements" she still keeps up with the lies to get more money out of him, making him suffer. My friend now can't get his classes paid for through fasa,health insurance is off and banks bounced his dad's checks so he couldn't attend driving school. What can be done?
Freaknik - 11-May-17 @ 9:52 PM
@Amazing mum - A person who is not considered biologically related to the child, should not have to be obligated by law to pay for that child. Would you want to give yoru own salary to a child who is not biologically yours? Matt.
MMM - 28-Mar-17 @ 11:54 AM
I am proper annoyed that my ex apparently lives off his wife an because her earnings don't come into the case my ex therefore does not have to pay a penny. But yet my dearest is left to contribute as he has a good job an I can't claim tax credits. How does this seem right? I could not afford him on my own but yet I have to rely on my partner but yet the ex can just live off his wife whom she chose to marry knowing he had a child so I think her earnings should be taken into account. Especially when they also have children together, nice house, nice cars, holidays (never taken my son on holiday with them in 8 years may I add) who decides who should pay what as I think his upkeep minus child benefit should be split equally between both parents....frustrating
Amazing mum - 27-Mar-17 @ 4:11 PM
Meesha - Your Question:
My x husband left without arranging any maintenance from when our child was 3 until 8-9 years old, when he returned he lied about his earnings and was instructed to pay only £21 a week plus £9 toward his non payment, he has paid through the bank for approx 7-8 years, the CSA have now established that he should have been paying £54 a week plus arrears, ( he has paid this for one week so far) our child has learning difficulties and is still at school and maybe there until 19 although I have been sent a CSA letter saying that any maintenance will stop in August, what can I do to retrieve the £7-8 thousand owing to me, ( my X has a big house, lovely car, goes three holidays a year,) while my child and I have not been anywhere for 7 years as I am on a low income.) If the CSA cant get the money can I take out a private prosecution with legal aid.

Our Response:
This is always a tricky question to answer, but in some circumstances it is worth taking the matter to court. You can see whether you might be entitled to legal aid via the link here. If your child has learning difficulties, this may give you a stronger case for being able to pursue the money. The court can look in to your ex's finances in more detail than the CSA can. Therefore, sometimes a solicitor's letter outlining what you intend to do if your ex does not pay the money owed may help (especially if he has anything to hide financially). I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Feb-17 @ 11:32 AM
My x husband left without arranging any maintenance from when our child was 3 until 8-9 years old, when he returned he lied about his earnings and was instructed to pay only £21 a week plus £9 toward his non payment, he has paid through the bank for approx 7-8 years, the CSA have now established that he should have been paying £54 a week plus arrears, ( he has paid this for one week so far) our child has learning difficulties and is still at school and maybe there until 19 although I have been sent a CSA letter saying that any maintenance will stop in August, what can I do to retrieve the £7-8 thousand owing to me, ( my X has a big house, lovely car, goes three holidays a year,) while my child and I have not been anywhere for 7 years as I am on a low income.) If the CSA cant get the money can I take out a private prosecution with legal aid.
Meesha - 16-Feb-17 @ 3:10 PM
Rachie - Your Question:
The father of my child has not been there for our son before he was even born, everytime I attempted contact he has blocked my number and all three fb accounts I used to contact him and has even moved to another town since my sons birth. My son is now a year and a half, what can I do to get some financial support from his Father? With any luck it may jolt him into wanting to see his son too.

Our Response:
Your ex is responsible for contributing financially to your child, until your child finishes full-time education. You need to contact the Child Maintenance Service, who will be able to advise further upon this, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Jan-17 @ 2:36 PM
The father of my child has not been there for our son before he was even born, everytime I attempted contact he has blocked my number and all three fb accounts I used to contact him and has even moved to another town since my sons birth. My son is now a year and a half, what can I do to get some financial support from his Father? With any luck it may jolt him into wanting to see his son too.
Rachie - 3-Jan-17 @ 9:57 PM
Larikaa - Your Question:
My mother doesn't pay child support. I haven't seen her in 5 years. What do I do?

Our Response:
It would be your resident-parent who would have to follow this up with Child Maintenance Services, as child maintenance is not paid to you, but to the person who cares for you on a daily basis.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Dec-16 @ 11:57 AM
My mother doesn't pay child support. I haven't seen her in 5 years. What do I do?
Larikaa - 4-Dec-16 @ 2:47 PM
Carol - Your Question:
My ex husband (separated) has never financially supported our 14 year old son since we separated 4 and a half years ago. Does he still have the same parental right to say where I live, I want to move to Spain. I just need to know how the courts will view my ex's rights in view of the fact he doesn't support him at all really. He spends maybe one evening or night at his farther a and also he dad has never take vh on trips days out nothing not pictures a meal out nothing he doesn't do anything with him. My son no doesn't like to go to his house and for that my ex gets angry at me like I am the one stopping him I just don't make home go. Yet if I told him of my plans to move away he would say no and be angry to try to stop me. Does he have a right to what would the courts say on this? Please I need help I have made it so easy for him to have a relationship with our son but I have to move on and have a life also.

Our Response:
Regardless, of whether your ex doesn't pay for your child. he still has parental responsibility and you will still need to ask his consent if your wish to move. If your ex refuses, then you would have to take the matter to court.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Sep-16 @ 2:18 PM
My ex husband (separated) has never financially supported our 14 year old son since we separated 4 and a half years ago. Does he still have the same parental right to say where I live, I want to move to Spain. I just need to know how the courts will view my ex's rights in view of the fact he doesn't support him at all really. He spends maybe one evening or night at his farther a and also he dad has never take vh on trips days out nothing not pictures a meal out nothing he doesn't do anything with him. My son no doesn't like to go to his house and for that my ex gets angry at me like I am the one stopping him I just don't make home go. Yet if I told him of my plans to move away he would say no and be angry to try to stop me. Does he have a right to what would the courts say on this? Please I need help I have made it so easy for him to have a relationship with our son but I have to move on and have a life also.
Carol - 14-Sep-16 @ 2:11 AM
The reason the CSA is needed is to save the government funding child support and to make fathers pay . The Government have No interest in child welfare The whole system is biased because it does not have the childrens interest at heart. MP's are guilty of fiddling expenses and allowing the CSA to steal from peoples bank accounts
LIESDAMNLIES - 26-Nov-15 @ 11:26 PM
i am not on the birth certificate do i have to pay maintenance? and my ex partener is saying CSA will pay for a DNA test to prove i am the father as she told me the father could be me or 2 other men? also if it is that i am the father after a DNA can CSA back pay it to when the child was born?
si - 25-Jan-13 @ 11:21 AM
My ex partner took voluntary redundancy and recd a substantial lump sum which he has put away in his building society. However he only recd a monthly pension of £720. He gives me maintanance of £300.00 but says this is too much and threatening to withdraw it or give me less.In the last 4 years my son as spent one evening at his new home and his father says he will only see him when its convenient to him. so no shared arrangements. Can he reduce my maintanance and refuse to dictate terms when he wants to see his son.
wheland - 4-Sep-12 @ 9:20 PM
My stepson has recently left our home to live with his biological father. My wife (his mother) does not work as she looks after our 2 other children so my income is our only source of income. Can my stepsons father claim maintenace from us?
Titch - 31-Aug-12 @ 1:52 PM
my husband is paying through the CSA for his 17 year daughter who has just had her own baby. She had left college to be at home with her baby. Does my husband still have to pay maintenance for his daughter ?
kim - 2-Jul-12 @ 8:34 PM
If the mother and father of the child is not working,who has to pay maintanance?
Harro - 9-Feb-12 @ 1:24 PM
Child support needs to be used as a TOOL in order to deliver adequate financial support for one's children; Not as a WEAPON as the result of a nasty court battle. The ones who truly suffer are the children involved. The arguments will haunt them forever.
MissPaige - 12-May-11 @ 6:14 PM
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