Family-based arrangements

Family-based arrangements are child maintenance arrangements which parents have agreed between themselves. You might also have heard them called family arrangements, voluntary arrangements or private agreements.

More than half a million children in Great Britain benefit from this type of child maintenance arrangement.

Many parents think this type of arrangement is a better option for them and their children because it allows flexibility in what a family based arrangement contains and no-one else has to get involved.

The advantages of a family-based arrangement

There are several advantages to family-based arrangements:

  • they are private and are tailored to your family's situation
  • they can be quick and easy to sort out
  • there are no fixed rules so they are flexible and easy to change if both parents agree

Unlike some other child maintenance arrangements, a family-based arrangement is completely free to set up.

You decide for yourselves how you both support your child

Family-based arrangements allow you and the other parent to decide between yourselves when and how you will both support your child. This can mean fewer arguments about money, and may also help you work together in other ways, which is usually in children's best interest.

If you're not sure what types of things you want to count as child maintenance, read about what to include in your family-based arrangement.

Next steps

If you think a family based arrangement may be the best option for you, read about how to make a family-based arrangement.

You can also read more about family-based arrangements in our FAQ section.

If however you're struggling to reach an agreement with your child's other parent, mediation might help.

As a last resort, you can use the courts or the statutory child maintenance service to arrange child maintenance.