Child maintenance arrangements

Child maintenance is financial support towards your child’s everyday living costs. This information helps single parents understand the options available to help you decide what arrangement for child maintenance payments is best for you.

Please note that some of the information in this section has been updated and will be valid from 1st April.


What is child maintenance?

The parent who doesn’t have the main day-to-day care of their children may have to pay money to the parent looking after the children. This is known as child maintenance payments.


How can I arrange child maintenance?

You have three different options to choose from when it comes to arranging child maintenance.


How are child maintenance payments made?

Once the maintenance has been calculated it is up to the parents to decide on arrangements for payment. There are two ways that payments can be made – “Direct Pay” or “Collect and Pay”.


How is child maintenance calculated?

After you apply, the Child Maintenance Service should contact HM Revenue & Customs to find out the other parent’s income.


Maintenance when you and your children’s other parent share their care

Shared care is where a child stays overnight with the parent who pays maintenance. This reduces the amount of maintenance payable to you.


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