Parents have a legal duty to financially support their child. Maintenance can be arranged directly with the parent who pays, through the Child Maintenance Service or the Scottish courts.
After you apply for child maintenance the Child Maintenance Service will contact HM Revenue & Customs to find out the other parent’s income.
There are two ways maintenance calculated by the Child Maintenance Service can be made – “Direct Pay” or “Collect and Pay”.
You have three different options to choose from when it comes to arranging child maintenance.
The parent who doesn’t have the main day-to-day care of their children may have to make payments to the parent looking after the children. This is known as child maintenance.
Child maintenance is money towards your child’s everyday living costs from the parent they do not live with. This information is to help you decide what arrangement for child maintenance payments is best for you.
Shared care is where a child stays overnight with the parent who pays maintenance. This affects the amount of child maintenance the Child Maintenance Service calculates is payable to you.
Your income from benefits, tax credits and child maintenance may reduce or come to an end soon after your child is 16 years old unless your child is in education or training when they are 16-19 years old.
It is likely that the money you have to live on will decrease when you become a single parent but there may be financial support from welfare benefits and child maintenance depending on your circumstances.
The Lone Parent Helpline provides support and advice on anything from dealing with a break-up, moving into work or sorting out child maintenance, benefits or tax credit issues.
Covering your tracks
You may not want other people to know that you’ve been searching for information or help from OPFS.
When browsing the internet whether on a mobile phone, tablet or computer, you leave a ‘history’ trail of pages and sites you’ve visited.
It’s impossible to completely avoid being tracked online but if you’re worried about someone knowing which sites you’ve been looking at, there are some things you can do to help cover your tracks.
If you’re using a laptop or desktop computer, try keeping another document or website open in a new tab or window while browsing. If someone comes in the room and you don’t want them to see what you’re looking at, you can quickly switch to another window or tab.
Deleting browsing history
You can delete the history of websites you’ve visited, but it’s important to know that if you delete your browsing history, someone else using the same device may notice.
If you share a tablet, mobile phone, laptop or computer with someone, they might notice that passwords or website addresses have disappeared from their history.
Find out how to remove your browsing history and other data from some of the most commonly used browsers:
Browsing in Private mode (incognito)
When browsing ‘incognito’, the internet browser won’t store cookies or record your browsing history on the computer, mobile or tablet.
This option is available on popular web browsers i.e. -
If you use a search toolbar in your web browser, remember that your searched items can be saved as part of your history. Find out how to delete your searched items from the following search engines: