Home > Child Support Defined > The Use of Child Support Payments

The Use of Child Support Payments

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 19 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Csa Child Children Maintenance Support

It is internationally recognised that parents have a responsibility to support their child, or children. Part of this responsibility means providing financial assistance to cover the cost of the child’s day-to-day expenses throughout their formative years.

This periodic payment can be privately agreed between the child’s parents or can be assessed, calculated, collected and distributed by the Child Support Agency (CSA)or Child Maintenance Service (CMS).

The Cost Of Living

The parent with care shares a home with their child and has therefore numerous living costs to cover. The non resident parent is expected to contribute financially towards their child’s welfare and will therefore have to pay maintenance to the parent with care.

Where parenting is shared equally between both adults the cost of the maintenance payments will be reduced accordingly.

What is not taken into consideration however, is the rising cost of raising children. Although maintenance payments are calculated as a percentage of the non resident parent’s income the amount of payment received by the parent with care generally has to stretch to cover a growing number of essentials.

Whilst the parent paying maintenance may feel hard done by and aggrieved at having to fork out child support the custodial parent still has to contend with balancing finances to make ends meet.

Expense Expectations

Maintenance payments are intended to be used in the best interest of the child and to cover the child’s expenses. This may include shelter, food, clothing, childcare costs and any educational needs.

Maintenance can provide essential funds for a number of specific items like school fees, nursery care or any medical expenses that the child requires. It is therefore acceptable to use maintenance monies to pay for expenses like residential heating costs, but not acceptable if it is used as spending money for luxuries.

Worth Considering

It is a good idea to keep a record of how maintenance payments are spent, in case child support becomes an issue between the parent with care and non resident parent. Items that should be listed include all school and educational expenses, clothing, books, sporting goods or items required for the child’s extracurricular activities and any additional living expenses that may be incurred by the child in their custodial home.

Parents who share care, or have agreed maintenance privately, may also benefit from drawing up a list of costs and payments for future reference.

Standard Requirements

It is expected that children will share in the living standard of both parents. This means that a parent who is financially secure, and may be enjoying an elevated standard of living, must share home comforts with their child, regardless of the other parent’s lower income provisions.

In a situation where the non resident parent is able to provide a comfortable amount of maintenance, due to their greater level of income, it is expected that this payment will be used to meet the child’s requirements and additional custodial household expenses, which may also benefit other people living in the same home as the child.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
If I pay £200 pcm maintenance for my 3 year old, do I also contribute towards childcare cost?
Jd72 - 19-Sep-17 @ 8:15 PM
Dodders88 - Your Question:
Hi,Just after a bit of help, I receive child maintenance payments but today my ex partner got cross with me for not providing any spare changes of clothes for my youngest daughter and not being able to provide him with welly boots for either child. Is it down to me to provide him with spare changes of clothes, shoes and car seats etc on days he has the kids?

Our Response:
It is not down to you to provide these items. Most non-resident parents provide the essential items when their children come to stay. Or it is a mutual agreement between both parents.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Sep-17 @ 3:12 PM
Can someone advice me. I have my boys over night3 nights a week and every sunday all day. So the ex has them 4 nights a week and all day Saturday. She is now trying to take me for maintenance. I go half's on all clothes and any other social events and school trips. I can't think why I have to pay maintenance when she only had them one night more than me. Any advice would be helpful.
Stal - 18-Sep-17 @ 4:21 PM
Blank - Your Question:
If my daughter was to stay with her father for a week would he still be required to pay child maintenance?

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether he pays via CMS or as a family-based arrangement. If the father pays via a family-based arrangement and CMS are not involved, then this is negotiated between you regarding what you both think is fair. If the matter goes through CMS, then the payments would continue as normal as CMS assessed child maintenance is averaged out over the year. Therefore, your ex would still pay you regardless.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Sep-17 @ 11:39 AM
Hi, Just after a bit of help, I receive child maintenance payments but today my ex partner got cross with me for not providing any spare changes of clothes for my youngest daughter and not being able to provide him with welly boots for either child. Is it down to me to provide him with spare changes of clothes, shoes and car seats etc on days he has the kids?
Dodders88 - 16-Sep-17 @ 10:35 PM
Hi, I pay a substantial amount of child mainance to my sons mother every month. I am the non resident parent. He stays with me frequently, his mother sends sends him with nothing, which I have never questioned. Recently school bus fairs have stopped also to which I draw the line, I was under the impression that school uniform, bus fairs and lunches cameunder the child maintanence allowance? Please advice?
Kit - 16-Sep-17 @ 1:27 PM
If my daughter was to stay with her father for a week would he still be required to pay child maintenance?
Blank - 15-Sep-17 @ 3:56 PM
Bec040186 - Your Question:
Can someone please advise or help my partners evil ex wife gets £20 a week csa and she receives full tax credits and child benefit she will not send one item of clothing nor normal clothing at all is this right or what help can we get regarding this

Our Response:
Your partner's ex wife is under no obligation to provide clothing of the child. Child maintenance is paid towards the day-to-day care of the child, whether utility bills, food, school lunches etc. Most non-resident parents provide their own clothes and items for the child when the child stays over at the NRP's house.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Sep-17 @ 12:17 PM
Abigale Goodwin - Your Question:
Hi there, my ex partner is refusing to pay maintenance and hasn't contributed for over 6 weeks now! He gets cash in hand also has money from work going into his mums bank account, I was wondering how this would work as I can't get any proof of any income he receives as it isn't his bank account?? He also only sees him once a week if that, and we have a contact order in place and he does not stick to it. Thanks

Our Response:
Unfortunately, unless your ex is paying tax via the HMRC, there is little you can do to prove he has an income, unless you go directly to his employer. Likewise, if your ex is not sticking to the court order and seeing his child, it is highly unlikely a court would attempt to force your ex to see his son.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Sep-17 @ 2:41 PM
Hi there, my ex partner is refusing to pay maintenance and hasn't contributed for over 6 weeks now! He gets cash in hand also has money from work going into his mums bank account, I was wondering how this would work as I can't get any proof of any income he receives as it isn't his bank account?? He also only sees him once a week if that, and we have a contact order in place and he does not stick to it. Thanks
Abigale Goodwin - 14-Sep-17 @ 7:38 AM
Can someone please advise or help my partners evil ex wife gets £20 a week csa and she receives full tax credits and child benefit she will not send one item of clothing nor normal clothing at all is this right or what help can we get regarding this
Bec040186 - 8-Sep-17 @ 8:18 PM
Hi, my husband and I have been separated for 2 years. Our daughter is 3. I received £80 month untill our daughter was 2 and he now pays £90 month. He didnt see her for 3 months and sporadically see's her some over night stays and occasional sun for 7 hrs. He works full time and is a musician so he dictates when he see her. He has 4 other children. 16, 20,21,22 of age. One still at college age 20. I don't know his wage and gets cash for gigs he does. Is our daughter entitled to receive more support financially from him. Also I think he might be going abroad with his.music career. Am I entitled to go through csa? Any information and advice would be gratefully received.
Jo - 8-Sep-17 @ 12:58 PM
Emilou- Your Question:
Hi there, my ex and I have been separated for 4 years. We have a 5yo daughter, who he sees fri 6pm till sun 4pm once a fortnight, there is no other contact in between time, and he pays £130pcm child maintenance. Since she's started school I have asked him if he could Pay half towards uniforms and shoes. I haven't asked for money for any other clothes or educational fees, school trips etc just the uniform. My Ex says he doesn't see why he should because that's what maintenance for. Am I within my rights to ask him to contribute or not? Thank you in advance for your help

Our Response:
Your ex is not required to pay more than the allocated child maintenance arrangement. Any contributions above this amount are made at the non-resident parent's discretion.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Sep-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi there, my ex and I have been separated for 4 years.We have a 5yo daughter, who he sees fri 6pm till sun 4pm once a fortnight, there is no other contact in between time,and he pays £130pcm child maintenance. Since she's started school I have asked him if he could Pay half towards uniforms and shoes. I haven't asked for money for any other clothes or educational fees, school trips etc just the uniform. My Ex says he doesn't see why he should because that's what maintenance for. Am I within my rights to ask him to contribute or not? Thank you in advance for your help
Emilou - 4-Sep-17 @ 6:25 PM
hard for childs future, not just upbringing but future; has been detrimentally affected by resident parent/ guardians malicious actions and the unauthorised actions of government department employees. In simple terms, write how you feel and send it to them. If everybody does this the department has to respond and continual speaking up will change things. I am not about revolution, I am all about evolution. The decisions they are making affect the childs future detrimentlly, it does not help the parents make agreements and in the long run it kills your bloodline because its survival of the fittest and the fit defiantely aren't caught up in child maintenance dramas, because together or not, the fittest are working together for their child/ childrens future. Thanks for reading and I hope that you understand what I mean by evolution. Today is a very devolved and controlled society. However its only like so because it is being allowed. When a letter says 'YOU MUST..' you know that there is a con down the road. I am private, the government is public. I am not on the electoral role and I am not an ant with a Queen that I work for Lol I work for my bloodline and my chilldrens childrens children.
diary of a job seeke - 22-Aug-17 @ 11:51 PM
, clothes etc. I would borrow library books and keep them well past return date for school and pleasure reads. Now I think about the impact on other children who were in my predictaments... I would bunk school because I didn't revise or do homework because of parents mental illness and substance abuse in the home I grew up in with resident parent (mum), and to be frank what I learned in school did not apply in any way when I stepped outside of school gates. This was many years ago and things are a lot worse now for children and parents. Now we have attachment to earning orders granted without court orders and calclated by 'the computer says...' employees of government deptartment, theDWP. Like Housing benefit calculations, decisions are being made by unqualified employees who do not have any authority to make these decisions. On top of this, you cannot arrange a face-to-face meeting to discuss the decisions, nor with their managers. Do you know anybody who has sat down with the Secretary of State for the DWP regarding any issue let alone CSA/ CMS? No. Do the decision makers fast forward 20 years and take into consideration the impacts of their decisions? No. They go home and sleep because it is a days work for them. They have no jurisdiction or statutory provision that empowers them. Just threats and writing in acts that do not make sense to the courts themselves and is interpreted differently by different people. This is your starting point, your defence and a sign that you are being reasonable and prepared to be reasonable. I have to add, I have a long term plan to stop my children from criminal lifestyle or having to commit crimes to get by. I am willing to pay for college and any activities that my children are interested in. However, in 2008 I worked 35 hours and was paid £80 after CSA deductuions. My rent was £89 at the time so you do the maths. I now have no fixed abode, I lost my council flat in the long run. I will never hate my son for what his mother and her family have done to my life. My 2 daughters will be with me full time, thats 4 mouths to feed and provide for in house, and 1 outside of house. I am in control of my finances and the last time I looked the bible didn't give the Crown any jurisdiction over my finances. I am not on the electoral role so I did not give Government any jurisdiction over my finances. It is not breaking any law being in control of your finances and if you are being threatened financially- as a living breathing human being you have the natural right to defend yourself. So please, stop empowering employees of man made entities. Don't fall into legal mumbo jumbo and complaint procedures. If the resident parent does not agree with your offer and does not pay for mediation or court action it shows thatthey have no long term interest in the childs well-being and need to look in the mirror and think about what they are going to provide for their child aged 16-21, 22-35 because the one person working har
diary of a job seeke - 22-Aug-17 @ 11:47 PM
Hi, I have had a few 'run ins' regarding government department employees such as CSA/ CMS. The mother of my 13 yr old son stopped me seeing my son back in 2006 as I was out of work and was not prepared to commit crime for money to impress her and feed my child. She contacted CSA while I was on JSA benefit to receive a pityful £5.00 per week. In 2008 I started work at a rate of £7 per hour@35 hours and for 3 months was repaying private loans from people that helped me survive the hard times of being broke.My ex-partner has never ever fed me a meal, let me use her bath, given me bus/ train fare or contributed to my household. NEVER. I see my son in a contact centre for over 10 years. 2 hours on the 2nd & 4th Saturday of the month. I failed a drug test although I was not doing drugs... association, not actual useage according to triotech. I was hounded for pubic hairs, arm pit hairs etc. We sit in the contact centre bored. total 24hrs a year. That equates to 1 day in total a year time spent if we both attend every contact centre visit. 1 day out of 365 days, which I fought for, all in order to see my son in supervised settings to ensure that his mother does not make a fool of our creation or encourage him to commit crime to impress whoever would actually be impressed with having a criminal child. Fast forward 11 years, I am working as a qualified highways electrician. His mum is an alchoholic substance abuser. My son and his 3 siblings were put on child protection and they all reside with his nan- who wrote me a letter for my son to give to me demanding £25 a week or else she will call CSA/ CMS who quote 'charge for collecting...' unquote. I was hoping the letter he handed me was regarding us being stuck in a contact centre for 11 years while his drug addict mum put him at risk for 11 years. Harsh but true. She has and she can still visit him unsupervised while I am supposed to apply to court (££££'s) to see a child that I made for free? I have received a number of calls from CSA/ CMS this month. In one I was told to stop giving him money direct and pay them (CSA/ CMS). I asked my son if he would listen if he was in my position. He is 13 years old, he thought about it, and said "No." Now, I am all for law and paying for my children. We all need to eat. I have a daughter due any day and a 19mth old daughter, No fixed abode, a car with all the associated costs and 3 childrens worth of education to provide for up to the ages of when they quit or are qualified (dependant on their choices in life completely depending on what their parents can afford to do for them...). I am trying to lead any readers to my way of thinking, don't laugh: We are created by our parents who were created by their parents and so on and so on. Their environment and lifestyles created our future. My parents divorced when I was 3 and every bit of money my dad gave me my mum seized for contributions to the household. However I ended up shoplifting for deodourant, school cloth
diary of a jobseeker - 22-Aug-17 @ 11:43 PM
My ex pays csa for my daughter, my understanding of is to help towards living costs food n clothing etc. Does it mean i have to provide my daughter with clothes for over his? As i always buy her clothes and she wears them over there and i never see them again. And shes going away with him he's expecting me to provide the clothes for the holiday.
Tj - 13-Aug-17 @ 11:41 AM
Hi my partner pays for both his children and has paid well over the required amount for years-private agreement with the ex.she doesnt work and is in receipt of maximum benefits.hes now longer able to afford the monthly payments to his ex plus another 150pound for extras she claims they need.he has now gone through csa to ensure hes paying the correct amount but now his ex is expecting him to provide clothes,phones etc for the time they are with him-they stay 2 nights a week.the fact he hasnt and cant financially she has stopped the children seeing him this weekend and intends to carry on until he has the required items at his house!where does he stand.should he be providing clothes etc for those 2 nights??mediation is out of the question with this woman!advice greatly appreciated please.
Holp - 12-Aug-17 @ 11:25 AM
Hey ?? I'm currently in a situation where my ex can't (refuses with excuses) commute to collect or drop the children. On Arranged days I seem to be doing all of the driving. 16 small drives. One week 10 small drives one week. The weeks alternate. So 72 small drives a month. Am I wrong to ask for diesel contributions?
Vbremi - 11-Aug-17 @ 9:50 PM
Jt - Your Question:
Hi there, my latest cms payment to my ex has gone up by 200 a month as my salary has increased. I am happy to pay what the tool says. But my ex had asked me to pay for other things too, which I can't afford. Also I have always paid for after school care with a child carer which is about 50 a month, so I am now struggling to also pay that with the new figures. I hear conflicting things but do I legally have to also pay for after school care?

Our Response:
You only have to pay child maintenance as assessed by CMS. If your ex asks you to pay more, then this is at your discretion, but not compulsary.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Aug-17 @ 3:48 PM
Hi there, my latest cms payment to my ex has gone up by 200 a month as my salary has increased. I am happy to pay what the tool says. But my ex had asked me to pay for other things too, which i can't afford. Also I have always paid for after school care with a child carer which is about 50 a month, so I am now struggling to also pay that with the new figures. I hear conflicting things but do i legally have to also pay for after school care?
Jt - 10-Aug-17 @ 1:26 PM
LJ - Your Question:
Hi There I have finally plucked up the courage to obtain CSA payments for my daughter who is 9. My ex is a teacher and has rental income he has not paid anything to date. He says if I take him to the CSA he will not pay half the after school care bill that he currently does ? Can you confirm if this is correct? Thank you

Our Response:
Your ex would not have to pay any money beyond official child maintenance payments, unless he agrees voluntarily.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Aug-17 @ 1:40 PM
Upon changing from the CSA to CMS my ex has been told that he is having to pay more a month as he previously wasn't declaring his income correctly. Since then I received a letter of demands, including private medical insurance (his company pays for him) my family is in the lower income family but I do always provide what I can for my daughter so she does not goes without. Can he make this demands. to cover all of her costs including after school clubs, lunches, mobile phones costs, school trips including aboard (including for Barcelona, Amsterdam and Skiing when these trips come up over the next year or so), etc ?Private Medical Insurance – You are responsible for ensuring that she has the same level of private medical insurance as I have covered up until now, can you please ensure this is put in place as a matter of urgency and provide me the details of the policy that you have put in place ?Lastly, you are responsible for the purchase of all School uniform and sports equipment required for the school this includes proper school shoes, proper trainers and footwear for PE.You are also responsible to provide the school clothing required for when she visits our house, our daughter'sinforms me that you have purchased her new uniform, however, she says that you only purchased a single option of each, however, based on the experience of this year can you please provide us with the following additional items: oBlazer with school badgeoTieoJumper v-neck x 2oMicro fleeceoSchool badgeoWhite shirts x 2 oBlack trousers x 2 oSchool socks x 2 If you feel that you would rather not purchase these, having discussed with the CMS we can always move to a family based arrangement, whereby the items that I need to purchase are deducted from the allowance that is provided for our daughter. Can he do that, can this be changed to a family based arrangement? do I need to agree to that? Thank you and look forward to your reply.
extremely stress par - 3-Aug-17 @ 12:02 PM
Hi There I have finally plucked up the courage to obtain CSA payments for my daughter who is 9. My ex is a teacher and has rental income he has not paid anything to date.He says if I take him to the CSA he will not pay half the after school care bill that he currently does ? Can you confirm if this is correct?Thank you
LJ - 2-Aug-17 @ 3:20 PM
Loumc89 - Your Question:
Hi, My ex is not refusing to buy clothes for when my two girls stay at his house. He has bought clothes to keep at his in the past and now because they have out grown the ones he had he is saying I need to supply the clothes, he is saying that with my cms and child benefit money I can do this. My child benefit has nothing to do with him does it?

Our Response:
You do not have to supply clothes to your ex. It is something you should agree between you, but you personally are under no obligation.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Jul-17 @ 9:43 AM
Hi, My ex is not refusing to buy clothes for when my two girls stay at his house. He has bought clothes to keep at his in the past and now because they have out grown the ones he had he is saying I need to supply the clothes, he is saying that with my cms and child benefit money I can do this. My child benefit has nothing to do with him does it?
Loumc89 - 23-Jul-17 @ 7:24 PM
lovemy boys - Your Question:
I pay my ex £300 per month. Plus I pay nursary fees and for swimming leasons. All their clothes, she has now told me she wants more money and if I dont give it to her she will stop me seeing my boys. I struggle every month to do this as it is. I have said if she wants more ill have to stop paying for swimming. Again I was told she would stop me seeing them. Can she do it?

Our Response:
In situations like this, I can only advise you suggest mediation to your ex in order to try to resolve these issues. Your ex cannot hold your children to ransom over money and a court would not approve of this. However, she can attempt to and you would have to take the matter further i.e court in order to try to get a resolution and a fixed contact order. Mediation is the first port of call when you cannot resolve an issue between you. If your ex refuses to attend or the mediation process breaks down, then your only recourse will be court, but gettting it to court will take time. Another option would be to ask a solicitor to write your ex a letter that outlines your rights and the action you propose to take if the matter is not resolved.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Jul-17 @ 12:29 PM
I pay my ex £300 per month. Plus i pay nursary fees and for swimming leasons. All their clothes, she has now told me she wants more money and if i dont give it to her she will stop me seeing my boys. I struggle every month to do this as it is. I have said if she wants more ill have to stoppaying for swimming. Again i was told she would stop me seeing them. Can she do it?
lovemy boys - 20-Jul-17 @ 9:41 PM
Meme - Your Question:
Hi my ex gives me 40 a week for 2 children one 6 and one nearly 2 he refuses to help pay for uniform and school trips and demands that I always provide nappies and wipes for the youngest. He only has them one night sometimes less a week is this the correct amount of money as I'm struggling myself and he expects me to pay for everything else

Our Response:
If you and your ex have a family-based arrangement, then child maintenance should be agreed between you both. As child maintenance is based upon the paying parent's income, if you know your ex's salary you can get a rough guideline of what your ex should be paying via the CMS link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jul-17 @ 12:27 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.