About Child Maintenance Options

At Child Maintenance Options, we provide impartial information and support to help both parents make informed choices about child maintenance.

The fact that we're impartial means we are here to help both parents and we aren't biased towards any one way of arranging child maintenance.

We're here to help you:

  • if you're separating from the other parent or are not living with them and you need to set up a child maintenance arrangement
  • if you're thinking of switching from a statutory child maintenance arrangement to a family-based arrangement, or the other way round
  • if your child maintenance arrangement has broken down or is not working as you'd like it to.

We can also offer practical information in areas linked to child maintenance, such as housing, employment and money. Although we're not experts in these areas, we can put you in touch with specialist organisations that can provide help and advice.

If you're a guardian, relative or friend, or if you have a professional interest in finding out more about child maintenance, we may also be able to help you.

Child Maintenance Options is a service provided by the Child Maintenance Group, which is part of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Child Maintenance Service opened in 2012 and now manages all new applications for a statutory arrangement. It uses slightly different rules to the Child Support Agency, which is closed to new applications but still manages many statutory arrangements set up before December 2013.

Child Maintenance Options is separate from the statutory child maintenance services, but we can give you information about these services because that's one way of arranging child maintenance. We can also give you the information you’ll need to apply to the Child Maintenance Service.

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Lines are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm Saturday.
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