Home > Parent's Rights > Paying Maintenance or Child Support

Paying Maintenance or Child Support

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 7 Nov 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
johnboy - Your Question:
I pay direct to my ex partner for a son I dont see since he was 2 - I am a manger so pay alot of money direct to her.i dont know what school he attends or anything - surely it is parental right for me as a dad who pays all this money that goes to my ex and probably not my son not to know which school he attends - she lies so how on earth would I be able to find out which school he attends and if he is still at school ??and what he is doing so I know when I can stop paying??? she doesnt work and on full benefits !! Please any answers would be appreciated x

Our Response:
As a parent with Parental Responsibility you have a right to a say in important events in your child's life such as schooling, health matters etc. You could consider mediation? This might help you come to an agreement about seeing your son and having some involvement in his schooling.
LawAndParents - 8-Nov-17 @ 2:04 PM
I pay direct to my ex partner for a son i dont see since he was 2 - i am a manger so pay alot of money direct to her....i dont know what school he attends or anything - surely it is parental right for me as a dad who pays all this money that goes to my ex and probably not my son not to know which school he attends - she lies so how on earth would i be able to find out which school he attends and if he is still at school ??and what he is doing so i know when i can stop paying??? she doesnt work and on full benefits !! Please any answers would be appreciated x
johnboy - 7-Nov-17 @ 4:55 PM
Hi My Husband has two boys when we met were 10 and 8 years old. He paid £279 per calendar month. Once he moved in with me the rate went up to £450 per calendar month. I was very naive and we had a joint account. We can’t afford much as he is in car sales and some months he comes home with only £1300 so £450 is quite a lot. Having said that he probably takes home 35k per year. My husband plays golf every week. Whereas, I don't do anything to drain the funds. I love him paying for he’s children but I do think it’s too high. We don’t have any holidays. He’s ex is going to New Zealand with the boys which is very expensive. She has re-married and her husband works. My Husband refuses to go to the csa as he’s ex has worked it out on hers gross pay and they would put it up. I think that £200 for the first child and £100 for the 2nd child = £300 per calendar month is great. I’m 5 years older and my pension is coming out in 2 years he wants me to pay off the mortgage so that he doesn’t have to struggle to pay for things. So worried don’t know what to do
fifi - 25-Oct-17 @ 9:13 AM
Would like to know, my baby is 7months now and His Father never ever supported her. Since birth till now, and when i asked him. He had this thing of saying the baby is not his. Then told him that we canfor DNA test, He said its not necessary to do that. But stil He's not supporting thou. Which steps to follow , cause i am the one who s doing everything for the baby, medicals everything.
Tshidi - 23-Oct-17 @ 6:50 PM
My ex partner left me when I was 7 months pregnant and has never paid any child maintenance for my son who is now 16. I never bothered to try and claim from him as he has never worked and didn't think I would get anything from him. But now everyone keeps saying that I should claim maintenance but I feel I've left it too late now. Any advice please
Loppy - 16-Oct-17 @ 8:18 PM
MrsT - Your Question:
My Husband has a 10yo daughter from a one night stand with an older woman when he was in his 20s. The mother has never let him have a Christmas day and, since finding out we were engaged, has reduced contact to one night a fortnight, thus increasing her entitlement to support payments (the 52 nights a year threshold). She has no court order for anything and has refused to set a date for mediation. The mediator offered to sign any forms we want for court but court is expensive and can be a double edged sword. My husband had a very good relationship with his daughter and so have I, she also complains that other kids she knows see their dad more but the Mother just won't listen to any reason. She accused OH of being threatening once but his mum was there and wrote a statement to his defense. She is basically profiting from witholding contact for no reason. The child maintenance office told hubby she was a very rude woman when they spoke to her, how can we deal with a woman like this? The payments are crippling us and we have a toddler now who is forgotten by everyone else because all they ever care about is this situation with my stepdaughter.

Our Response:
Unfortunately if the mother of the child will not reason and will not agree to mediation, the courts are really your only choice.
LawAndParents - 4-Oct-17 @ 2:58 PM
My Husband has a 10yo daughter from a one night stand with an older woman when he was in his 20s. The mother has never let him have a Christmas day and, since finding out we were engaged, has reduced contact to one night a fortnight, thus increasing her entitlement to support payments (the 52 nights a year threshold). She has no court order for anything and has refused to set a date for mediation. The mediator offered to sign any forms we want for court but court is expensive and can be a double edged sword. My husband had a very good relationship with his daughter and so have I, she also complains that other kids she knows see their dad more but the Mother just won't listen to any reason. She accused OH of being threatening once but his mum was there and wrote a statement to his defense. She is basically profiting from witholding contact for no reason. The child maintenance office told hubby she was a very rude woman when they spoke to her, how can we deal with a woman like this? The payments are crippling us and we have a toddler now who is forgotten by everyone else because all they ever care about is this situation with my stepdaughter.
MrsT - 4-Oct-17 @ 9:16 AM
I divorced my ex wife 6 years ago as she was violent towards me for many years. She took the 2 children and lived with her Parents as the marital home was not " Good Enough" ( her words. I was left single handed my to pay the keep of said house until it's sale along with trying to meet the unreasonable amount of £250 per month CASH request by my ex so I could see my two children. 2 failed court attempts to actually see my children and sale of the house later my ex decided then she wanted more a month as she now was renting a house and I had to pay for it. Like a fool who just wanted to see his kids I almost killed my self working to meet these demands. When I finally couldn't continue I selfishly asked my ex if I could pay less to which she informed me she would speak to what was CSA. After speaking with they agreed I was paying too much and that the actual figure was far far far less. My ex declined this amount. I then volunteered again to pay Csa payments but again she declined on the grounds that SHE couldn't live on that amount. Time past with me not making any payments but paying the figure suggested through Csa into a savings account for my children. My ex met someone moved away with my children leaving me no knowledge of where they were. I still continued to pay into the savings account for 5 years. I recently found out that unfortunately my ex has split with her I assume husband and moved back locally and is plotting to contact what was Csa to hit me with non payment of Csa. Can she do this? She declined it as it wasn't enough for her. I'm scared.
SadDad - 30-Sep-17 @ 6:20 AM
Hello all I have been gifted with two children a boy and a girl. My wife and I splitas she decided to take the kids back to germany for a 1 week visit and never reterned...(ow arnt i the bad one ) anyway i have been to see my children all be it for a weekend here and there I have since picked him up for a visit to the UK and hes now telling me he wants to stay with me.? what do i do ..? i have spoken to my wife she says hes to come back to Germany..? the poor little mights crying when we talk about it hes 11 if this helps jamie
woody8316 - 21-Sep-17 @ 2:28 PM
My ex has accumulated arrears of almost £20,000 which have still not been paid. The cms have now applied for a liability order against him as he is self employed. They have proof of a bank account which he has regular income paid into, they applied for a deduction and he removed all funds from the account and as far as I know closed it. He has not done a self assessment since 2012, isn't claiming any benefits but IS registered self employed! Where do I stand with any chance of getting any payment? Surely he can't be paying any tax ? This really frustrates me. Any advice would be appreciated thanks.
Sam - 21-Sep-17 @ 12:27 PM
My partner pays an agreed amount of money to his ex for his son now she is trying to stop him seeing him does he still have to pay her while she is refusing access?
Emzi - 21-Sep-17 @ 12:41 AM
Hi DB1(Deadbeat 1) now lives two minutes from My house yet doesn't bother with our seventeen year old Son and hasn't properlyfor 17 years. But he owes me over two grand in maintenance arrears but My payments have been reduced because him and his ex have a secret arrangement so pays less to me. Annoyed because he claims to have no money to the point he couldn't afford a 29p birthday card for his son or to buy him Christmas presents yet can afford to buy his five year old Daughter things, sees her regularly. Lives with his gf and her two children playing step dad and paying money into her household but My son isn't involved in his Sister's life because he just doesn't care. Oh gets better he is now getting married considering his so hard done by and owes me money. Sick of the Cm not making him pay the arrears in full. Years of chasing payments, late payments, alleged overpayments when the csa calculate what payments I receive, how is that My fault. His payments are made part direct debit and attach off earnings yet its the next month before I receive My half payment from him even though he gets paid on the 15th of every month. And then the other half on around the 10th of the following month. Absolute joke. Don't see why I have to wait nearly a month for payment from him or his employer. The Cm are just as bad as the csa in My eyes. For 17 years I've had nothing but grief from him and his family. He even turned up saying he couldn't afford the amount they were taking from him but can afford holidays and a up coming wedding. How can you live two minutes from your child not speak or bother with him just because you hate the mother. DB2 Is the second Deadbeat I unfortunately have three kid's too. A five yr old twins of two. We've only been split for four months due to his abusive aggressive emotional abusive behaviour. He hasn't paid a penny for our three kid's, yet can afford to buy cigarettess £10 a pack,tobacco £10 a pouch and cannabis £15 every other day, new clothes etc. Only offers to take care of the five year old but ignores the twins so basically I don't get a break at all. His family have fell out with him because he also owes them one but never pays anyone back just takes and takes. Yet I'm struggling to make ends meet. I have provided the Cm with his national insurance number, his employer's address, his mobile number and address. Yet he still isn't paying. Why can't they take money from him from his bank account instead of his employer who clearly isn't responding to the request for Child maintenance to be taken from his wages each week. I am in debt because of him bullying me into buying him cannabis if I refused he wouldn't take our to school. I have high blood pressure suffer from bipolar disorder and I am at the point of no return, had to cancel hospital appointments because I have to take the kid's with me which I can't always due, due to the appo
Jemima - 19-Sep-17 @ 10:03 AM
Hi. I have jus been granted joint residency of my five year old son. He resides with me three nights and his mother four nights per week. I have always payed csa since he was born. When I was granted joint residency I had to negotiate. So basically I got the three nights but now pay half of the child minder fees. I provide everything for my son when he is with me. E.g. Clothes and so on .I also pay half of everything that he needs for things like school uniform ,school activities, birthdays and so on.His mother claims child benefits , tax credits and get 70% of the child minder fee paid for.I don't see how this is fair or an even split but have been told only one parent can claim. My barrister explained to me in court that all the tax credits should be put towards the child minder fee then the bill shud be halfed but this wasn't written on the order. Any help or advice would be much appreciated
Ran - 31-Aug-17 @ 11:48 PM
If I am not allow access to see my child then why should I pay she lied to me was married and said she couldn't get pregnant now is trying to make me pay money to her for been a sneaky tramp so I will just keep changing bank account simples. If your not willing to let me my child she me then don't as for my money.
Si - 29-Aug-17 @ 3:13 PM
My partner is making back payments to his ex that were set up through cms and she has also cancelled the claim because they have agreed on future payments and amounts that he can afford so she told cms what the agreement was and that she accepts it as maintenance and the money's paid into the kids accounts every 2 weeks as he gets fortnightly pay. So he is paying her arrears without fail every 2weeks plus newly agreed maintenance payments without fail through bank payments everyone's happy....my question is if she decides to be awkward and spiteful as she tends to be, can she decide to go back and start up a new csm claim even if he is making payments without fail? And we can prove all payments are being made with bank statements. She tends to get pissed off when we can't do what she wants and try and screw us over
Loo - 24-Aug-17 @ 7:10 PM
Aryastark - Your Question:
My partner raised two kids and had his name on birth certificate of both his ex wifes kids (they have now been proven by way of dna tests in court to not be his biologically) he still fighting as a person of interest in court for contact but she is pushing to give him limited contact and have his name removed from the birth certs. however after 3 years at court she is now demanding he pay child maintenance as even though he has been aware he is not the father he still persuaded contact etc at court.Can she do this I was under the impression that she can only peruse the biological father for maintenance.Ps they arent divorced yet but been separated 10 yrs

Our Response:
What a difficult situation for your partner. We really don't know the answer...in general if the name's not on the birth certificate and the father is not the biological father, he is not responsible for maintenance.
LawAndParents - 22-Aug-17 @ 11:24 AM
My partner raised two kids and had his name on birth certificate of both his ex wifes kids (they have now been proven by way of dna tests in court to not be his biologically) he still fighting as a person of interest in court for contact but she is pushing to give him limited contact and have his name removed from the birth certs ... however after 3 years at court she is now demanding he pay child maintenance as even though he has been aware he is not the father he still persuaded contact etc at court. Can she do this i was under the impression that she can only peruse the biological father for maintenance. Ps they arent divorced yet but been separated 10 yrs
Aryastark - 19-Aug-17 @ 7:31 PM
Missl - Your Question:
My partners ex sends his daughter to stay overnight (sat night) with just the clothes she stands in. He pays maintenance and I understand that she does not have to provide clothes for when she is in his care, however she does not even provide clean underwear for her to return home to her in and sneered what she has on will be fine. Surely she should be providing clean underwear for her daughter.

Our Response:
This is for your partner and his ex to negotiate. Just because he pays maintenance doesn't mean that he shouldn't provide for the times when he looks after her. One solution would be as follows:
- Your partner buys some spare sets of clothes
- Dresses daughter in spare clothes on Sunday and returns his daughter in them
- He washes the clothes that have been removed, ready to use as spares next time
- It's quite simple really.
LawAndParents - 16-Aug-17 @ 11:10 AM
Katty - Your Question:
My partners ex has suddenly put in a child maintenance claim for her 15 year old who.hes never met what can we do we have 2 children school age and 5month old twins im so worried we dont get any tax credits only his wage 1500 a month but our rent is 600 and were barely getting by x

Our Response:
Unfortunately there isn't much that your partner can do about this except give full details of his earnings and outgoings to the CMS.
LawAndParents - 15-Aug-17 @ 2:17 PM
My partners ex sends his daughter to stay overnight (sat night) with just the clothes she stands in. He pays maintenance and I understand that she does not have to provide clothes for when she is in his care, however she does not even provide clean underwear for her to return home to her in and sneered what she has on will be fine. Surely she should be providing clean underwear for her daughter.
Missl - 14-Aug-17 @ 10:47 AM
My partners ex has suddenly put in a child maintenance claim for her 15 year old who.hes never met what can we do we have 2 children school age and 5month old twins im so worried we dont get any tax credits only his wage 1500 a month but our rent is 600 and were barely getting by x
Katty - 13-Aug-17 @ 9:47 PM
beanbag- Your Question:
I split from my ex girlfriend whilst she was pregnant. Since the child has been born she has not allowed me to come to see her or even tell me that she was born in the first place. And rejected all my requests to see her when I did find out. Up until now she hasn't wanted nothing or even tried to communicate with me. The baby is now 3 months old and the ex has asked to be back dated with child maintenance for this period of time and payments going forward. I'm happy to pay going forward if I can see the baby. But do I have to back date as she denied me any acces ?? I have a 9 year old son I pay for with my ex wife. This is not an agreed amount as yet as we are selling the house we lived in. But will need to be worked out at the same time. How much do I need to pay each. ??

Our Response:
Maintenance is not related to acces, so you cannot refuse to pay on that basis. The easiest to way to work out what you should pay is via the CM Options website. If your ex is refusing you access, you could try mediation to come to some arrangement regarding contact. If that does not work, you may have to resort to the court.
LawAndParents - 25-Jul-17 @ 1:00 PM
Recently split up from my girlfriend we have a child together I get my child Wednesday-Saturday afternoon we both work but want to know who has to pay who
John - 22-Jul-17 @ 1:39 PM
I split from my ex girlfriend whilst she was pregnant. Since the child has been born she has not allowed me to come to see her or even tell me that she was born in the first place. And rejected all my requests to see her when I did find out. Up until now she hasn't wanted nothing or even tried to communicate with me. The baby is now 3 months old and the ex has asked to be back dated with child maintenance for this period of time and payments going forward. I'm happy to pay going forward if I can see the baby. But do I have to back date as she denied me any acces ?? I have a 9 year old son I pay for with my ex wife. This is not an agreed amount as yet as we are selling the house we lived in. But will need to be worked out at the same time. How much do I need to pay each. ??
beanbag - 19-Jul-17 @ 12:10 PM
It was agreed in our signed divorce agreement that we would provide 50% support for our children at university. My child has now been at university 1 full year & during that time my ex-husband has refused to support him (claiming he did not agree to anything & cannot afford it/doesn't want to). Can I take him to court to enforce the agreement?
FGA - 14-Jul-17 @ 10:42 AM
My ex husband pays maintenance for our 2 younger children and only in.the last 12months and I've been left nearly 6 yrs. Since hm having another partner he is being more irresponsible then before. Our 13 yr old discussed to stop going over a yr ago due to the ex and his girlfriend behaviour and calling me infront of them,but our younger children still.goes. he's now saying he wants to buy some spare clothes for her and keep at his.but is ginger to stop the cost out of his maintenance to me, when she tages clothes for over night. Can he do this and may I say he doesn't provide any extra help for the q3yr old. She has a school trip and he won't help pay for half. He's told me no But the agreement was maitnaince amount and half extra support for trips and school uniform and any out of the ordinary expenses. But with no joy. Please help as he quiet nasty and his new girlfriend is always looking for trouble that I've had to stop him coming round to collect the child and drop her off at her outside at her nans to meet them there.
Jaks - 30-May-17 @ 9:44 AM
Hi. I have religiously paid child maintenance for my 2 children for the past 15 years and continue to do so. I have a private agreement with their mother. My children are nearly 16 and nearly 18. My eldest child is currently at college and has decided to spend all her time at her boyfriends house and hasn't even been home for the past 3 months. Should I really still be paying their mother for her?
Wizz2130 - 21-May-17 @ 10:19 AM
Chas- Your Question:
I've been going through the CMS for nearly 4 years and during this time on and off my ex has messed around with the payments. There's been arrears on the account for most of the time, but recently when he changed job he didn't even pay the scheduled payment for 4 months as he knew that it could be changed over to collect and pay because of his change of circumstances. There's now nearly £2000 arrears on the account which he has made an agreement to pay back at an extra £80 per month.but now he is underpaying again because he knows the system and that they won't do anything unless he underpays by the normal amount minus the arrears. I have involved my MP which seems to be a long process and not very successful. Could I take my ex to a small claims court for the arrears? And would this be backed up by all the information from the CMS do you know? I understand I would have to pay to do this, but I feel as though I am being taken for a fool, and when my children have hobbies, school trips and clothing etc that needs to be paid for why shouldn't it have to be paid back! Thanks for any advice.

Our Response:
We've replied below..........
LawAndParents - 17-May-17 @ 12:32 PM
I've been going through the CMS for nearly 4 years and during this time on and off my ex has messed around with the payments. There's been arrears on the account for most of the time, but recently when he changed job he didn't even pay the scheduled payment for 4 months as he knew that it could be changed over to collect and pay because of his change of circumstances. There's now nearly £2000 arrears on the account which he has made an agreement to pay back at an extra £80 per month...but now he is underpaying again because he knows the system and that they won't do anything unless he underpays by the normal amount minus the arrears. I have involved my MP which seems to be a long process and not very successful. Could I take my ex to a small claims court for the arrears? And would this be backed up by all the information from the CMS do you know? I understand I would have to pay to do this, but I feel as though I am being taken for a fool, and when my children have hobbies, school trips and clothing etc that needs to be paid for why shouldn't it have to be paid back! Thanks for any advice.
Chas - 16-May-17 @ 12:58 PM
Chas- Your Question:
I've been going through the CMS for nearly 4 years and during this time on and off my ex has messed around with the payments. There's been arrears on the account for most of the time, but recently when he changed job he didn't even pay the scheduled payment for 4 months as he knew that it could be changed over to collect and pay because of his change of circumstances. There's now nearly £2000 arrears on the account which he has made an agreement to pay back at an extra £80 per month.but now he is underpaying again because he knows the system and that they won't do anything unless he underpays by the normal amount minus the arrears. I have involved my MP which seems to be a long process and not very successful. Could I take my ex to a small claims court for the arrears? And would this be backed up by all the information from the CMS do you know? I understand I would have to pay to do this, but I feel as though I am being taken for a fool, and when my children have hobbies, school trips and clothing etc that needs to be paid for why shouldn't it have to be paid back! Thanks for any advice.

Our Response:
You could try but it's likely that the courts would allow your ex to pay it back in instalments just as the CMS are doing. It might be worth having a word with a solicitor though.
LawAndParents - 15-May-17 @ 11:11 AM
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 LawAndParents website. Please read our Disclaimer.