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Paying Maintenance or Child Support

By: Angela Armes - Updated: 18 Jan 2018 | 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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[Add a Comment]
Lelia- Your Question:
My ex has primary care of my 2 young boys,they live over the border in Ireland so it's an hour and 20mins to collect them as I only get to c them at weekends. I have to pay £80 a month for both kids and I don't work,now he is looking more. I need advice as I can't afford it and he keeps wanting more.

Our Response:
You can use theChild Maintenance Calculator to find out the amount you should be paying.
LawAndParents - 19-Jan-18 @ 2:25 PM
kate - Your Question:
My partner is paying 160 a month to his ex but buys them clothes etc that they need because they come to him dirty. he also pays 50 per child into a bank account for when they are older and she’s now demanding 300 a month. because he is paying into bank accounts and providing clothes because she blows money will this mean he has to pay the amount she says

Our Response:
He can use the Child Maintenance Calculator to find out the statutory amount he'd be expected to pay.
LawAndParents - 19-Jan-18 @ 12:18 PM
I have a no contact order against my ex, he cannot contact our Son. He stopped payments via the CSA some years back. My Solicitor advises me it is best not to provoke him by taking him back to the CSA for non payment, as apparently he can take me back to court whenever he sees fit! What a waste of thousands of pounds that was (and to top it all I would have been able to claim legal aid due to domestic violence but ended up paying my solicitor). I now need extra cash as I am struggling. Should I pursue or leave it in order not to rattle his chain so to speak? Son is 10 years old. Any advice appreciated.
Corycory - 18-Jan-18 @ 3:01 PM
My partner is paying 160 a month to his ex but buys them clothes etc that they need because they come to him dirty. he also pays 50 per child into a bank account for when they are older and she’s now demanding 300 a month. because he is paying into bank accounts and providing clothes because she blows money will this mean he has to pay the amount she says
kate - 16-Jan-18 @ 5:38 PM
Davies22 - Your Question:
Hi my ex knows how to play the System and have got away with it for 15 years neither you or csa can do anything worth while! My question is iv just found out his pay goes into his mother bank account, can you do anything to investigate this?

Our Response:
Our site is simply for advice, we have no direct connection with the Child Support Agency or the Child Maintenance Service.
LawAndParents - 12-Jan-18 @ 1:45 PM
My ex has primary care of my 2 young boys,they live over the border in Ireland so it's an hour and 20mins to collect them as I only get to c them at weekends.I have to pay £80 a month for both kids and I don't work,now he is looking more. I need advice as I can't afford it and he keeps wanting more...
Lelia - 11-Jan-18 @ 11:41 AM
Hi my ex knows how to play the System and have got away with it for 15 years neither you or csa can do anything worth while! My question is iv just found out his pay goes into his mother bank account, can you do anything to investigate this?
Davies22 - 10-Jan-18 @ 5:34 PM
My exs daughter is 16 next month and hasnt gone to school since she was 13, he is saying he will still be paying her mum maintenance regardless, even though legally he will no longer need too. My question is shouldnt that decision of his then financially be taken out of his own money amd not still calculated and split between two exs by CMS, why should my children recieve less because he chooses to continue supporting a child who is now able to work full time.
Ky - 7-Jan-18 @ 12:41 PM
I was Dating a girl and she had the implant I have seen it she wasn’t lying a week or 2 after first sexual intercourse she tells me that she’s has taken a pregnancy test and it’s positive I haven’t seen this we agree to an abortion tells me she’s gone to clinic and taken the pill since this I’ve worn a condom as I no longer trust implant the relationship turned nasty I was mentally abused and almost raped when I refused to have sex without a condom I ended it received death threats verbal abuse tells me she lied about the clinic and is still pregnant and gonna keep itCan anyone help me with where I stand we were using a contraception then 2 contraceptions I don’t want anything to do with her I’m terrified for my safety ?
J woo - 6-Jan-18 @ 6:26 PM
l split with my wife in 1995 in holland and have not seen my kids for about 20 years because i did not work or had any money .my x wife said because i did not pay for the kids that if i came holland that i would go to prison now the kids are 26 and 28 years old i would like to see my kids before l its to late..
gaz - 3-Jan-18 @ 10:34 PM
Can I pay less child support because i was in a train accident and am an alcoholic as a result of the trauma
Mars - 3-Jan-18 @ 3:15 PM
Dave81 - Your Question:
Child Maintenance did not contact with me after 5 months of separate with my ex partner.They sent me a letter that I have to pay £40 a week.They didn't ask me do I work or do I have moey for my child.She is with my daughter but I cannot contact with my child because she was change address and I cannot find her.I was contact with the police but they can't help to me.I have a solicitor but he never find my ex.What could I do ???I want to have a contact with my daughter ,I want to pay but I don't have £40 a week - it's to much for me at the moment.I also want a contact with my child but I don't know how.Please for a help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our Response:
Unfortunately child maintenace and contact are two separate things.If you want contact with your child and the mother is not facilitating this, then you may have to apply to the courts - this is difficult in that it would cost you more money and she cannot be traced. The Child maintenance service has no obligation to provide you with contact details. If you do not earn enough to pay the maintenance, or want to contest the amount, you must get in touch with the CMS and give them full details of your employment (or benefits claim details),
LawAndParents - 2-Jan-18 @ 2:52 PM
My ex is currently paying me via a direct debit he set up after two years of me asking for financial help with our son. He's a great dad, sees him every weekend. He moved in with his fiance last year and their wages combined means that after rent and tax they are extremely solvent and I'm working part time with no other financial means yet the payment I get from him had remained the same and it's less than the calculated amount the government suggest on their website. There are however, no clear rules or guidelines when I tried to ask about this situation, wether the fact his living arrangements can effect the payments to me? He doesn't have any other children to support by the way and neither does his fiance.
Azreal - 29-Dec-17 @ 10:30 AM
Child Maintenance did not contact with me after 5 months of separate with my ex partner.They sent me a letter that I have to pay £40 a week.They didn't ask me do I work or do I have moey for my child.She is with my daughter but I cannot contact with my child because she was change address and I cannot find her .I was contact with the police but they can'thelp to me.I have a solicitor but he never find my ex. What could I do ???I want to have a contact with my daughter ,I want to pay but I don't have £40 a week - it's to much for me at the moment.I also want a contact with my child but I don't know how. Please for a help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave81 - 25-Dec-17 @ 7:52 PM
Good mum- Your Question:
My ex had my son living with him but has a weird antaginistic personality and my son moved to his grandma's to live full time after his dad reverted to being an alcoholic and was mental unstable. Only he wouldn't tell the maintenance or child benefit the my son's residence had changed and I have been forced to pay him maintenance at 370 a month. I can't afford that. For 14 years my son lived with me and his dad only paid 6 a monthdespite being a graphic designer earning 45k a year. I can't get the cms to stop the payments or take any notice of me informing then for over a year.they sat because he has child benefit they have to make payments even though he doesn't pay anything for my son and makes him pay for all things out if money from a chip shop job.cab I take him to the small claims court to get the money back He's been violent to me to stop me getting access and lies to my son all the time to make him feel sorry for him when he's using my son to get money for himself

Our Response:
It's unlikely that you will be able to reclaim the maintenance. Could you talk to the grandparent and see if they will make a claim for child benefit as their grandson is living with them? Alternatively could you apply for a residency order so your son can live with you? Or shared residency etc?
LawAndParents - 11-Dec-17 @ 11:16 AM
My ex had my son living with him but has a weird antaginistic personality and my son moved to his grandma's to live full time after his dad reverted to being an alcoholic and was mental unstable.Only he wouldn't tell the maintenance or child benefit the my son's residence had changed and I have been forced to pay him maintenance at 370 a month . I can't afford that. For 14 years my son lived with me and his dad only paid 6 a monthdespite being a graphic designer earning 45k a year. I can't get the cms to stop the payments or take any notice of me informing then for over a year .they sat because he has child benefit they have to make payments even though he doesn't pay anything for my son and makes him pay for all things out if money from a chip shop job.cab I take him to the small claims court to get the money back He's been violent to me to stop me getting access and lies to my son all the time to make him feel sorry for him when he's using my son to get money for himself
Good mum - 10-Dec-17 @ 6:15 AM
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
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