Your income after separation
Last updated: 31/03/2020
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.
Benefits you may get after separation
There are a number of benefits you can claim if you have a limited income.
- new style jobseekers allowance,
- new style employment and support allowance if you have an illness or disability and
- universal credit.
You may also get help with rent, a reduction in your council tax and there is a Support for Mortgage Interest loan you can apply for if you own your home. There is also help to pay for childcare if you work.
Which benefits you get will depend on circumstances such as the number of children you have, your savings and whether you are working or not.
The parent providing the majority of the care for your children will be entitled to maintenance from the other parent. The parents do not need to have been married and the parent paying child maintenance does not need to be having contact with your children. No maintenance is paid where separated parents share the care of their children equally.
Usually the best way to decide how much maintenance should be paid is for both parents to agree on an amount. Where this is difficult parents can use the Child Maintenance Service but there are charges involved.
Contact Child Maintenance Options Service for more information.