Getting help from the child maintenance service
It can be less stressful for your child and better for your relationship with your child’s other parent if you can agree maintenance together. However, if you and your child’s other parent can’t agree, you can ask the statutory child maintenance service to arrange child maintenance for you.
- Calculate how much child maintenance should be paid, using a fixed set of rules.
- Either arrange for your child’s other parent to pay you directly so you get the money faster.
- Or collect the payments directly from your child’s other parent to pass them onto you.
- Take action if payments are not made.
The government has introduced a range of fees and charges for separated parents who use the Child Maintenance Service to arrange their child maintenance.
This is to encourage more parents to work together to arrange child maintenance instead of using the Child Maintenance Service or the courts.
- A £20 application fee for any new application from a parent living in England, Scotland or Wales.
- A 20% collection fee for paying parents using the Collect & Pay service, added on to each amount of child maintenance collected.
- A 4% collection fee for receiving parents using the Collect& Pay service, deducted from each amount of child maintenance they receive.
- A range of enforcement charges for paying parents who fail to pay their child maintenance in full and on time.
There will be no collection fees for parents who use the Direct Pay service.
The best way to avoid all fees and charges is to make a family-based arrangement with your child’s other parent.
Where can I go next?
Child Maintenance Options - the statutory child maintenance service
Information about child maintenance arrangements run by the statutory child maintenance service, from Child Maintenance Options.
DAD.info - a guide to CSA
Understanding how the CSA works ?, from Dad.Info.
SingleParents.org.uk - child-maintenance
Child Support / Child Maintenance - what's the difference?