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Paying Maintenance or Child Support

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 20 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Maintenance Paying Maintenance Child

Many parents when they split from their partners find themselves paying maintenance or child support to help with the cost of bringing up their children. This figure is designed to help the parent looking after the children cope with the financial strain after the other parent has left the marital home and thus ceased to contribute a salary.

Arranging to Pay For Your Child

There are two ways to arrange financial payment for your child who does not live with you:
  • Make a private arrangement with your ex-partner. This is often the method if the separation is more amicable.
  • You can contact the Child Support Agency (CSA) who will calculate the regular amount that you should pay for the upkeep and wellbeing of your child. This figure will be calculated on your income and outgoings and is normally paid monthly into the bank account of the person looking after your child.

What Happens if I don't pay Maintenance?

If you have entered into an agreement with your ex-partner for paying maintenance, you should maintain this agreement. If for any reason you are struggling to make the payments either on time or because of a problem with your own finances, it is best to try to talk the matter through and come to some understanding with your ex or the CSA. Perhaps a reduction in maintenance payments for a time until your problems are resolved is in order?

If you do not pay maintenance and make no effort to communicate your reasons why, your ex-partner can pursue the payment of this money – plus any outstanding payments – through the CSA. They will require you to complete a series of forms and attend an interview to ascertain why he or she has not being making the correct payments.

The CSA can retrieve these maintenance payments by placing an 'Attachment to Earnings'. If you are salaried monthly, the value of your maintenance will be deducted from your salary at source. Your employer will be contacted by the CSA and instructed (and this is a legally binding request) to deduct the value of such monies from your salary before you receive it into your bank account.

If you require further information on maintenance and Child Support and how the scheme works, contact the Child Support Agency or visit their website at www.csa.gov.uk.

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Hi,I have a son who is 11years old.his father is a police officer.every time I want money to buy my sons school uniform or food,or anything I ask for my son he said he will help.bt knowing very we'll tht he will not do tht.I went to maintenance court in 2008 nd the court tell him to pay R500each month.first time he paid the money forsome few months tht 500 he was demanded to pay nd tht same he use to 350 or 450.nd I didn't complain to him abt y he give me half money coz he suppose to give 500.so his started to give me some stories nd some month he didn't send de money,some he did nd he in 2011 he pays for only 4months in de year for de whole yr.as well as 2012.worse thing he doesn't come nd tell me y he didn't pay or make me understand y.since from de he gave me problems. 2012 he pays 7 months nd 13 he pays 3months.2014he pays 4months.2015 1month,2016 2 months nd nothing for 2017.plz plz help me.what should I do
Nono - 20-Feb-17 @ 6:12 PM
Hello. I have 3 children & my eldest moved out the last week of one month ( he has ODD so he can be difficult).My ex refuses to pay that month for him as he was here for 21 days of the month not the full month. Please advise if he's within his rights. He pays only child support since they started high school (nothing for clothes shoes etc which he is to supply those things when they're there so very little).
Kjw - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:42 PM
Hi, I am a mum of a 3 (nearly 4 year old) girl. I work full time and she goes to full time nursery. The only benefit I get is help towards the nursery fees, nothing else. My childs father doesn't work. There is no reason for him not to work. He is a young healthy man. He was working on and off but now since months before christmas he doesn't. He lives with his mother and claims he has no income. He sees the child 2 nights per week. He does not support her financially at all. I do not get anything from him. Like I said he is claiming he has no income and as far as I know he doesn't work. But what I do know is that he is always out with his friends, he has a car that he is able to run, he smokes a lot and he is able to buy cigaretts, he has a mbile phone he has to pay for, he is also able to buy new clothes and shoes in which I see him in when he comes to collect his daughter. He is not claiming jobseekers allowance. My question is - how do I find out where is he getting the money from. He clearly has enough money to lead a good carefree life without having to pay anything towards his child. I suggested e sees her more so that I could reduce her nursery hours and pay less - afterall he sits at home all day everyday. But he did not agree. I am so fed up and frustrated with the whole situaution and the fact he can just get away with it. Any suggestions?
Confused - 23-Jan-17 @ 2:47 PM
I have been receiving regular payments from my ex husband for our son for the 14 year or so but he has never increased this value over this time period although the cost of living has clearly increased.The amount agreed was on the divorce agreement so he says that what was agreed so that is what he has paid.Surely this cannot be correct?Do I have grounds to force him to backpay an increased value at all?
Bel - 23-Jan-17 @ 12:18 PM
Hello, my ex of our now 16 year old child paid on off and now has figured a way of not declaring any income nor claiming benefits. I have no knowledge of his whereabouts or life standard for years but he always strived as a self employed petrol pump owner. What can I do to find any details? I've no money for private detective. CSA put trace on him through hmrc since July 2016 with no return of information What can I do?
Elein - 19-Jan-17 @ 4:50 PM
My ex is paying an amount throughcsa, however 6 months ago he stopped seeing the kids therefore payments should have been recalculated as l informed them. At the same time l put in a variation order inas he has 2 properties on rent and csa rules state if his capital is over £65000 then it counts as some sort of income. The confusing part is that both propertiesare in joint names however we have a court agreement that states he is the sole owner of both properties.He wasn'table to transfer mortgage into his sole name hence court agreement. Its been 7months since l made the application and l feel as if l have been fobbedoff every time I call. Can l take this to court for the arrearsas well
Li - 6-Jan-17 @ 12:18 PM
Jce - Your Question:
My ex partner has decided to go on holiday for 3 weeks (without our child) to Australia and is adamant that he doesn't have to pay me child maintenance while he is away as he won't be earning money (he's self employed). Is this right? I am under the assumption that if he can afford to go on an expensive holiday he should still be paying me money for his child as he won't be having her for 3 weeks.

Our Response:
Child maintenance is usually calculated using annual earnings (from the self assessment form) sohe should continue to pay.
LawAndParents - 24-Nov-16 @ 2:31 PM
My ex partner has decided to go on holiday for 3 weeks (without our child) to Australia and is adamant that he doesn't have to pay me child maintenance while he is away as he won't be earning money (he's self employed). Is this right? I am under the assumption that if he can afford togo on an expensive holiday he should still be paying me money for his child as he won't be having her for 3 weeks.
Jce - 23-Nov-16 @ 10:24 PM
I have been paying CSA for 10 years to my ex for our son and she also drew up an agreement stating that I have to pay extra outside of the CSA for stuff like school meals and extra curricular activities like football practice. This agreement is not legal or anything it was just written by her and she told me if I don't pay she will keep my son away from me. 10 years on I just can't afford to pay CSA (which is usually around £350 pm) on top of the extra amount (which is always £200 plus pm) I just want to know if she has any rights to take my access away from me if I stop paying the extra cash to her - I just can't afford it anymore but I'm so scared that she will take my boy away! Does anyone have any advice or know if she can take him away if I am still happy to pay the CSA?
JJ - 7-Nov-16 @ 10:46 PM
Confused - Your Question:
Does my partner legally need to pay csa to his ex for his daughter if he is no longer working but I am

Our Response:
He should use the Child Maintenance Calculator to establish how much he'd be required to pay. Sometimes household income is taken into account, sometimes flat rate of £5 is taken if a person is on certain benefits, like ESA etc.
LawAndParents - 13-Sep-16 @ 12:16 PM
Does my partner legally need to pay csa to his ex for his daughter if he is no longer working but i am
Confused - 11-Sep-16 @ 7:33 PM
Hi, I am contacting on behalf of my friend, she has split from her partner 3 years ago, he was suppose to be paying money from his benefits but she received nothing, then ahe found out he was working and claiming so after a couple of years trying to get this sorted and numerous calls to csa she has been getting no where, so now I have been chasing it for her where now she is told that she is due nothing even tho he is back to work but states he is unemployed, we have contacted thw fraud squad, but its so frustrating for her. Where can we go from here
Lawzie - 8-Sep-16 @ 9:15 PM
KA - Your Question:
I had a family based child maintenance arrangement set up with my ex. He was supposed to pay £200 per month (standing order through the bank) for our two children, contribute towards uniform and school trips and after school activities and have them every other weekend. He paid the money and had them every other weekend till about 3 years ago. In 2014 he stopped paying the £200 also without informing me. Once I realised I contacted him and he informed me it was due to a change of job and it would continue once he had got his first pay. It never did. I contacted him and few times after that with no joy resulting in him now not awnsering my calls or texts, he hardly has the children but when he does he picks them up when he knows Im working and drops them then shoots off before I get out to speak with him. I have now contacted the CSA for future payments. However I would like to know if I can take him to the small claims court for the missed payments from August 2014 to this month?

Our Response:
You could try the small claims courts. The CSA will not be able to claim back the arrears as they can only do this from the date of the first CSA claim.
LawAndParents - 17-Aug-16 @ 1:43 PM
I had a family based child maintenance arrangement set up with my ex. He was supposed to pay £200 per month (standing order through the bank) for our two children, contribute towards uniform and school trips and after school activities and have them every other weekend. He paid the money and had them every other weekend till about 3 years ago. In 2014 he stopped paying the £200 also without informing me. Once I realised I contacted him and he informed me it was due to a change of job and it would continue once he had got his first pay. It never did. I contacted him and few times after that with no joy resulting in him now not awnsering my calls or texts, he hardly has the children but when he does he picks them up when he knows Im working and drops them then shoots off before I get out to speak with him. I have now contacted the CSA for future payments. However I would like to know if I can take him to the small claims court for the missed payments from August 2014 to this month?
KA - 16-Aug-16 @ 10:08 PM
Basil - Your Question:
I need some advice please. My husband previously paid child maintenance via CSA direct from his wages. A few years ago he changed jobs and set-up a standing order with the ex to cover maintenance. His wages were lower so he gave her a mo they figure which she accepted. His ex did not contact CSA to advise them there was now a private arrangement in place. There is no longer a legal requirement for maintenance as the child is now at uni. 6 months ago he received a phone call from CSA stating he owed 2 years payment. He explained there was a private arrangement in place and a standing order was paid direct to her account. He was informed they would talk to the ex and get back to him. He has now received a letter in which the CSA state they have contacted the ex who confirmed the arrangement. However, they will deduct the amount he has paid privately but still state he owes more money. If she accepted the amount, can CSA seek the difference in the payments?Sorry for the long post!

Our Response:
This was private arrangement which they both agreed to. They are both at fault in that neither of them informed the CSA when the decision to make a private arrangement was made. Does his ex want the CSA to continue with this claim? Your husband could try appealing against the CSAs claim. Take a look at this information on how to appeal a CSA claim
LawAndParents - 16-Aug-16 @ 10:46 AM
I need some advice please.My husband previously paid child maintenance via CSA direct from his wages.A few years ago he changed jobs and set-up a standing order with the ex to cover maintenance.His wages were lower so he gave her a mo they figure which she accepted. His ex did not contact CSA to advise them there was now a private arrangement in place.There is no longer a legal requirement for maintenance as the child is now at uni.6 months ago he received a phone call from CSA stating he owed 2 years payment.He explained there was a private arrangement in place and a standing order was paid direct to her account.He was informed they would talk to the ex and get back to him.He has now received a letter in which the CSA state they have contacted the ex who confirmed the arrangement.However, they will deduct the amount he has paid privately but still state he owes more money.If she accepted the amount, can CSA seek the difference in the payments? Sorry for the long post!
Basil - 13-Aug-16 @ 1:17 PM
I had an agreement with my ex that he would continue to pay half the mortgage when he left. That payment stopped 2 year's ago. Which left me fighting to keep my head above water. I have since bought him out of the house. I paid him a lump sum and he keep various assets jointly acquired. He spent most of the money on a brand new car. I have not had a penny from him for our 2 children since August 14. Can I stop access?
Roo - 6-Aug-16 @ 9:43 AM
Dee - Your Question:
Please can you advise. I have come to the end of my CSA agreement for my 3 children with my ex partner.They sent me a letter saying he has to pay me £360 a month but I contacted them to say my son had now gone to university and I believed he did not have to pay me this. The money has always been a bit hit and miss weither I get it or not. The csa contacted me to ask if I was happy for them to shut the case and although I originally said yes. One less headache. They then contacted me to tell me that my ex owed just over £560 in arrerars although I am sure it ism ore than this and asked if I wanted it. As my son is starting uni in September and I will need to find £750 for his travel I agreed to them persuing it. The response was that I would get £30 a month until arrears were paid off.I diputed this as I know he can afford to pay more than this and the money is needed now for my sons train fair. Now I m wondering if I can go back through records and chase any arrears. Also if I can get my ex to pay some kind of maintenance directly to my son to support him at uni. Money is tight here. I know what fees my son is entitled to at uni. My (his too)children and I were made homeless after our fourteen year relationship ended as my name was not on the mortgage. I m very proud of my son and want to support him but need a bit of extra support.

Our Response:
You should allow the CSA to chase any arrears, their records should be accurate. Maintenance is not payable once your child is at university level unless you've made a private agreement. Most students take out a student loan and a part time job to pay for their accommodation, tuition fees and travel/foodthrough their time at uni without having to relay on their parents.
LawAndParents - 21-Jul-16 @ 1:48 PM
Please can you advise. I have come to the end of my CSA agreement for my 3 children with my ex partner.They sent me a letter saying he has to pay me £360 a month but I contacted them to say my son had now gone to university and I believed he did not have to pay me this. The money has always been a bit hit and miss weither I get it or not. The csa contacted me to ask if I was happy for them to shut the case and although I originally said yes . One less headache. They then contacted me to tell me that my ex owed just over £560 in arrerars although I am sure it ism ore than this and asked if I wanted it. As my son is starting uni in September and I will need to find £750 for his travel I agreed to them persuing it. The response was that I would get £30 a month until arrears were paid off.I diputed this as I know he can afford to pay more than this and the money is needed now for my sons train fair. Now I m wondering if I can go back through records and chase any arrears . Also if I can get my ex to pay some kind of maintenance directly to my son to support him at uni. Money is tight here. I know what fees my son is entitled to at uni. My (his too)children and I were made homeless after our fourteen year relationship ended as my name was not on the mortgage. I m very proud of my son and want to support him but need a bit of extra support.
Dee - 20-Jul-16 @ 2:22 PM
I wish to know a dress for ma husband since he left S.A. it's hard to support a child we need child support and also to maintain me if am calling he dnt pic ma calls he pic it sometimes what can I do to get his working address
Zee - 4-Jun-16 @ 2:11 PM
Kay - Your Question:
My husband was tricked into conceiving a child. My husband was rather young at the time! The mother told him she was on contraception and was allergic to condoms, as soon as she got pregnant she left him for her ex who was supposedly infertile and my husband is not on the childs birth certificate nor does he have or has had any contact with the child, should he have to pay child maintenance since he was forced into having a child that the mother had no intentions of allowing him to father even if he had wanted to?

Our Response:
If he's not on the birth certificate he will not have to pay maintenance unless ordered by a court to take a paternity test etc. If it's established that he is the father, he can be made to pay maintenance.
LawAndParents - 3-Jun-16 @ 10:48 AM
My husband was tricked into conceiving a child. My husband was rather young at the time! The mother told him she was on contraception and was allergic to condoms, as soon as she got pregnant she left him for her ex who was supposedly infertile and my husband is not on the childs birth certificate nor does he have or has had any contact with the child, should he have to pay child maintenance since he was forced into having a child that the mother had no intentions of allowing him to father even if he had wanted to?
Kay - 2-Jun-16 @ 1:01 PM
Webby - Your Question:
Hi I.hope some ome can help I'll keep it short an to the pointCan anyone confirm if csa take out goingins in to account when making a decision? (alot of conflicting story's on line)Also the fact my partner has been paying csa privately arranged following csa stating amount he needs to pay an his vindictive ex has now contacted csa statin his not been paying (I can assure you he has) what can he do?Also the fact he was made redundant an was unemployed 3 months an not signed on as his ex was aware can csa make him pay for the period even tho he was on 0 income? Any help would be very much appreciated Many thanks

Our Response:
He can show his bank statements to demonstrate when he paid - assuming he didn't pay (which is never advisable). If he was redundant but didn't claim JSA then it may have been that he should have continued to pay with any redundancy money, so they CMS or CSA will look into this.
LawAndParents - 27-May-16 @ 2:10 PM
Hi I.hope some ome can help I'll keep it short an to the point Can anyone confirm if csa take out goingins in to account when making a decision? (alot of conflicting story's on line) Also the fact my partner has been paying csa privately arranged following csa stating amount he needs to pay an his vindictive ex has now contacted csa statin his not been paying (I can assure you hehas) what can he do? Also the fact he was made redundant an was unemployed 3 months an not signed on as his ex was aware can csa make him pay for the period even tho he was on 0 income? Any help would be very much appreciated Many thanks
Webby - 25-May-16 @ 9:39 PM
Annoyed - Your Question:
My partner and I are getting married. He has some extra curricula activity with a lady, whilst this has been forgiven, we are now paying support to her for a child she told us she had aborted. Nevertheless he will do what's right and pay the money. However he does not want anything to do with the child. He doesn't want it turning up and expecting him to play daddy, nor does he want to know about his schooling or anything else regarding the child. She has insistently harassed his family and friends with pictures and socialedia messaging. Can he relinquish parental responsibility owith the order he still pays her maintance but he has nothing to do with the child

Our Response:
Your partner can apply to court to terminate his own parental responsibility if he feels he wants to. The courts will always only terminate parental responsibility "an appropriate step in the regulation of the child's life where the circumstances really do warrant it and not otherwise". Termination of his PR may not stop the mother from keeping his family informed with pictures etc. If he wanted to do that, he might consider a solicitor's letter or an injunction (which the courts would have to decide whether to grant or not). He should consider the welfare of his child in this matter as his attitute may have a long lasted psychological effect and is also being denied contact with his natural grandparents etc.
LawAndParents - 25-May-16 @ 11:40 AM
My partner and I are getting married. He has some extra curricula activity with a lady, whilst this has been forgiven,we are now paying support to her for a child she told us she had aborted. Nevertheless he will do what's right and pay the money. However he does not want anything to do with the child. He doesn't want it turning up and expecting him to play daddy,nor does he want to know about his schooling or anything else regarding the child. She has insistently harassed his family and friends with pictures and socialedia messaging. Can he relinquish parental responsibility owith the order he still pays her maintance but he has nothing to do with the child
Annoyed - 24-May-16 @ 3:19 PM
Hello, I live with a man who pays maintenance to his own child, because of me and my son he pays less . We live together for 9 months, I receive only child benefit and nothing else. He doesn't give us any money,he doesn't look after us and I pay him bills( water,gas,electricity,Internet), he used to ask me to pay him rent.I work part time job because of my son's school cuz i don't have anyone else to look after him, my whole family live in my country. We hardly survive so my question is - Is there anything I can do to change my situation? Thank you
Milena - 15-May-16 @ 5:45 PM
jen - Your Question:
I would like to know how to get my ex-husband to pay me the money that he owes me it was me $9,500 for the last 5 years and still has not paid me is there any legal action I can take to get the money that he owes me I recently got marrieddoes that affect anything of me getting my maintenance back cuz we got divorced in 2011 he stopped paying me 5 months after our divorce saying that he didn't have the money to pay me and he would would start paying me once he went back to work and that never never happened please help sincerely Jennifer Harrison

Our Response:
You have not said what the money is for. Could use the small claims court?
LawAndParents - 21-Apr-16 @ 2:24 PM
I would like to know how to get my ex-husband to pay me the money that he owes me it was me $9,500 for the last 5 years and still has not paid me is there any legal action I can take to get the money that he owes me I recently got marrieddoes that affect anything of me getting my maintenance back cuz we got divorced in 2011 he stopped paying me 5 months after our divorce saying that he didn't have the money to pay me and he would would start paying me once he went back to work and that never never happened please help sincerely Jennifer Harrison
jen - 20-Apr-16 @ 9:56 PM
Keve - Your Question:
My partner is lovely, wouldn't see his son without anything but was unfortunately tricked and lied too upon asking about birth control. Anyway, long story short, he pays £150 a month without CSA, but now the mother is constantly harassing him for more money. If the child were to see the money, he would provide but she smokes cannabis and is out every weekend with her friends, whilst leaving the child with whomever she can. She goes out at the weekend and then hassles him via phones calls, text messages for more money once the weekend is over. This is becoming more frequent and we need help/advice. She cannot harrass him like this.surely?

Our Response:
The alternative would be to apply to have the money collected via the Child maintenance services - they will calcualte an amount based on your income/circumstances etc. Once that arrangement is in place the mother should not be able to quibble about the amount/ask for more.
LawAndParents - 20-Apr-16 @ 12:40 PM
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