Our top three questions

  • When should child maintenance stop?

    With a family-based arrangement there are no set rules around when payments stop, it's between you and the other parent to agree.

    If you have a statutory child maintenance arrangement, regular child maintenance payments must be made if a child is:

    • under 16
    • under 20 and in full-time education, but not higher than A-level or equivalent
    • under 20 and living with a parent who has registered for Child Benefit for them
  • What if I have equal shared care of my children?

    If the day-to-day care of a child is equal between a paying parent and a receiving parent, the paying parent may not have to pay any child maintenance for that child.

    If both parents agree that care of a child is shared, but cannot agree on the number of nights, a decision must be made. If you have statutory child maintenance arrangement the Child Maintenance Service will make the decision for you.

  • Are additional expenses taken into account once I have received my initial calculation?

    After you have received an initial calculation based on your income, you can apply for a 'special expenses variation' if you pay any of the following:

    • the cost of keeping up regular contact with a child or children you are paying child maintenance for e.g. travel expenses
    • debts from the former relationship e.g. paying a car loan for a car the receiving parent has kept
    • the everyday living costs or 'boarding' part of boarding school fees for a child or children for whom you pay maintenance
    • payments on a mortgage, loan or insurance policy for the home that the paying parent and receiving parent used to share. The receiving parent and the child or children must still live in the home and the paying parent must have no legal or ‘equitable’ interest in it.

      The above expenses must be more than £10 per week.
    • Costs incurred when providing day-to-day care for a child with a long term illness or disability.
  • More frequently asked questions